Modeling particle shape-dependent dynamics in nanomedicine

Samar Shah, Yaling Liu, Walter Hu, Jinming Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

168 Scopus citations


One of the major challenges in nanomedicine is to improve nanoparticle cell selectivity and adhesion efficiency through designing functionalized nanoparticles of controlled sizes, shapes, and material compositions. Recent data on cylindrically shaped filomicelles are beginning to show that nonspherical particles remarkably improved the biological properties over spherical counterpart. Despite these exciting advances, non-spherical particles have not been widely used in nanomedicine applications due to the lack of fundamental understanding of shape effect on targeting efficiency. This paper intends to investigate the shape-dependent adhesion kinetics of non-spherical nanoparticles through computational modeling. The ligand-receptor binding kinetics is coupled with Brownian dynamics to study the dynamic delivery process of nanorods under various vascular flow conditions. The influences of nanoparticle shape, ligand density, and shear rate on adhesion probability are studied. Nanorods are observed to contact and adhere to the wall much easier than their spherical counterparts under the same configuration due to their tumbling motion. The binding probability of a nanorod under a shear rate of 8 s -1 is found to be three times higher than that of a nanosphere with the same volume. The particle binding probability decreases with increased flow shear rate and channel height. The Brownian motion is found to largely enhance nanoparticle binding. Results from this study contribute to the fundamental understanding and knowledge on how particle shape affects the transport and targeting efficiency of nanocarriers, which will provide mechanistic insights on the design of shape-specific nanomedicine for targeted drug delivery applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)919-928
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • Adhesion kinetics
  • Brownian dynamics
  • Immersed finite element method
  • Nanomedicine
  • Nanorod

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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