Photoporation  is a physical approach to permeate cell membranes. Plasmonic nanoparticles (NPs) are attached to the membrane, which is then irradiated by nanosecond laser pulses. Au NPs, which have strong surface plasmon resonance and can efficiently convert light into heat, lead to pore formation in the membrane by localized hyperthermia. Pores then allow for the delivery of, e.g., genetic material to the cell interior, or for the release of the drug content out of a delivery-liposome. Here, we aim at modeling, via atomistic Molecular Dynamics simulations, the membrane heating and damaging induced by the selective irradiation of a ligand-protected Au NP  , stably bound to the membrane. We develop a protocol for the simulation of the NP mediated heating in presence of a constant energy flux provided by the laser source, by using reference experimental parameters. We then look at the structural membrane deformation associated to the heating process. We also focus on water permeation, and show that it is enhanced by irradiation: we observe a non linear dependence between water permeation events and temperature, and show that water permeability is increased at the interface with the nanoparticle.
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 Salassi, S., Simonelli, F., Bochicchio, D., Ferrando, R., & Rossi, G. (2017). Au Nanoparticles in Lipid Bilayers: a Comparison between Atomistic and Coarse Grained Models. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 121 (20), 10927–10935.