Smart Nano-objects for Alteration of Lipid bilayers (SNAL) Initial Training Network is a multidisciplinary EU-funded 7th Framework Programme specially designed to provide scientific and transferable skill training and career development for early stage researchers and experienced researchers in the field of lipid research.

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Participate 5th Workshop on biomaterials, cell membranes and lipid bilayers 2016 See details

Membrane-active nanoparticles

Interaction of amphiphilic nanoparticles with lipid bilayers is a function of size and hydrophobicity ((10.1021/nn3028858)). At the adsorption transition, the nanoparticles can destabilize the membranes, enhancing permeability and translocate through the membrane.


The aim of the project is to understand the mechanism of passive translocation through bilayers in order to design nanoparticles with surface properties for particular biomedical application.

Particular focus of the project

  • Nanoparticles with tuned hydrophobicity
  • Polymer-coated nanoparticles
  • Destabilization of lipid bilayers
  • Mechanism and energetics of translocation through bilayer

Associated projects

  • Association of polymers and small solute molecules with phospholipid membranes

    Theoretical physics, theory in soft matter, computer simulations Objectives In many cases the properties of cell membranes are modified through biopolymers and small solute molecules such as anesthetics or neurotransmitters. They can associate to membranes and significantly alter their structure, either thermodynamic state or induce reorganization in form of pores. The project aims to describe the fundamental ...

  • ESR11-F: Delivery of molecular payloads through primary human cell membrane

    In-vitro experiments on living cells, toxicology studies Contact Andre Dias Objectives The goal is to compare and validate the synthetic lipid models to biologically relevant cell types and to investigate how different nano-objects interact with representative lipid single and bilayers compared to human cells with and without therapeutic incorporation. Tasks and methodology Cellular uptake of fluorescence-labelled nano-complexes will be checked by ...

  • ESR4-D: Molecular dynamics simulations of lipid bilayers and their interactions with nano-objects

    Theoretical physics, theory in soft matter, computer simulations Contact Chanfei Su Objectives The challenge of this project is to understand the role of molecular properties of self-organized phosphor-lipid bilayers on the interaction behaviour with nano-objects such as spherical nanoparticles, stiff rods and protein-like copolymers: Implementing an appropriately coarse-grained model for bilayer membranes based on highly parallelized LAMPS-code. Dynamics of lipids and ...

Outreach activities

    Work in progress.

SNAL publications

    Work in progress.

Project team

Yachong Guo

Research student at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain Theory and simulations of small solute molecules and their interactions with lipid membranes, more...

Vladimir Baulin

Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV), Tarragona, Spain

Coordinator of SNAL network. Expertise is computer simulations and theory of soft matter systems. Research is focused on the topics in the theory of Soft matter, polymer physics. more...


Chanfei Su

MSCA Early Stage Researcher at Institut für Polymerforschung Dresden, Germany. Molecular dynamics of lipid membranes and polymers more...

André Dias

MSCA Early Stage Researcher at the Universitaet Frankfurt, Germany Nanotoxicity and in-vitro investigation of interaction of nanomaterials with living cells. more...