A DSC and Raman spectroscopy study on the effect of PAMAM dendrimer on DPPC model lipid membranes

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The interaction between PAMAM (polyamidoamine) dendrimer generation 4 (G4) and 3,5 (G3,5) with model lipid membranes composed of dipalmytoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) has been investigated. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and Raman spectroscopy were applied to assess the thermodynamic changes caused by PAMAM G4 and G3,5 and to specify the exact location of these dendrimers into the DPPC lipid bilayer. DSC thermograms indicated that the maximum percentages of PAMAM G4 and of G3,5 that can be incorporated in the DPPC membrane without deranging its integrity were 5% and 3%, respectively. The Raman intensity ratios I2935/2880, I2844/2880 and I1090/1130 cm−1 showed the degree of the fluidity of the lipid bilayer, while the absorption at 715 cm−1 showed a strong interaction of PAMAM G4 and G3,5 with the polar head group of phospholipid. The results showed that the incorporation of the PAMAM G4 and G3,5 dendrimers in DPPC bilayers causes a concentration dependent increase of the membrane fluidity and that the bilayers interact strongly with both the lipophilic part and the polar head group of the phospholipids. Due to the current weak knowledge relating to the mechanism(s) under which dendrimers interact with lipidic membranes and transport through cells, these results may justify the tendency of dendrimers to disrupt biological membranes. The findings from this study could also prove helpful to rationally design new liposomal drug carriers for bioactive molecules by combining dendrimeric and liposomal technologies.

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