EPJ E - How biological capsules respond under stress

Innovative high-precision measuring tool to assess the bending elasticity of liposomes

Cosmetics and pharmaceutical drug delivery systems could be improved thanks to a new method developed to precisely measure the capability of capsule-like biological membranes to change shape under external stress. This work is outlined in a study published in EPJE by Philippe Méléard and Tanja Pott from the Rennes-based Institute of Chemical Sciences at the European University of Brittany and their colleagues from the Center for Biomembrane Physics at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense.

The authors found that, by using a statistical method, they could evaluate the bending elasticity of biological membrane models, a key factor in understanding their physical properties. They relied on a series of video-microscopy images of giant liposomes, which are artificial spherical vesicles of more than 10 micrometers in diameter made of a bi-layer of fatty substance called lipids. They studied the membrane deformations triggered by thermal agitation of molecules in the liquid surrounding them, over time.

Previous approaches used the average of deformation amplitudes observed in these images, which meant a loss of accuracy of up to 20%. Instead, in this study, the authors focused on evaluating the statistical distribution of the membrane deformation, which yielded unprecedented precision. This method relies on the so-called Maxwell-Boltzman statistical distribution, named after James Clerck Maxwell and Ludwig Boltzmann, who studied the kinetic theory of gas using this approach.

The method presented in this paper could be of interest to industry scientists in devising both cosmetic and pharmaceutical applications. For example, industry often needs to encapsulate products such as cytotoxic cancer drugs or antimicrobial peptides in biological membranes prior to delivering them into patients’ bodies. Ultimately, it could help industry scientists determine what type of biological membrane is best suited for their specific purpose.

Advantages of statistical analysis of giant vesicle flickering for bending elasticity measurements.
P. Méléard et al., Eur. Phys. J. E (2011) 34: 116, DOI 10.1140/epje/i2011-11116-6

This was our first experience of publishing with EPJ Web of Conferences. We contacted the publisher in the middle of September, just one month prior to the Conference, but everything went through smoothly. We have had published MNPS Proceedings with different publishers in the past, and would like to tell that the EPJ Web of Conferences team was probably the best, very quick, helpful and interactive. Typically, we were getting responses from EPJ Web of Conferences team within less than an hour and have had help at every production stage.
We are very thankful to Solange Guenot, Web of Conferences Publishing Editor, and Isabelle Houlbert, Web of Conferences Production Editor, for their support. These ladies are top-level professionals, who made a great contribution to the success of this issue. We are fully satisfied with the publication of the Conference Proceedings and are looking forward to further cooperation. The publication was very fast, easy and of high quality. My colleagues and I strongly recommend EPJ Web of Conferences to anyone, who is interested in quick high-quality publication of conference proceedings.

On behalf of the Organizing and Program Committees and Editorial Team of MNPS-2019, Dr. Alexey B. Nadykto, Moscow State Technological University “STANKIN”, Moscow, Russia. EPJ Web of Conferences vol. 224 (2019)

ISSN: 2100-014X (Electronic Edition)

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