Drug-membrane interactions studied in phospholipid monolayers adsorbed on nonporous alkylated microspheres

Viera Lukacova, Ming Peng, Gail Fanucci, Roman Tandlich, Anne Hinderliter, Bikash Maity, Ethirajan Manivannan, Gregory R. Cook, Stefan Balaz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Characterization of interactions with phospholipids is an integral part of the in vitro profiling of drug candidates because of the roles the interactions play in tissue accumulation and passive diffusion. Currently used test systems may inadequately emulate the bilayer core solvation properties (immobilized artificial membranes [IAM]), suffer from potentially slow transport of some chemicals (liposomes in free or immobilized forms), and require a tedious separation (if used for free liposomes). Here the authors introduce a well-defined system overcoming these drawbacks: nonporous octadecylsilica particles coated with a self-assembled phospholipid monolayer. The coating mimics the structure of the headgroup region, as well as the thickness and properties of the hydrocarbon core, more closely than IAM. The monolayer has a similar transition temperature pattern as the corresponding bilayer. The particles can be separated by filtration or a mild centrifugation. The partitioning equilibria of 81 tested chemicals were dissected into the headgroup and core contributions, the latter using the alkane/water partition coefficients. The deconvolution allowed a successful prediction of the bilayer/water partition coefficients with the standard deviation of 0.26 log units. The plate-friendly assay is suitable for high-throughput profiling of drug candidates without sacrificing the quality of analysis or details of the drug-phospholipid interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)186-202
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Biomolecular Screening
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2007


  • In vitro profiling of drug candidates
  • Liposomes
  • Octadecyl-silica microspheres
  • Phospholipid bilayer
  • Phospholipid monolayer


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