Spin-echo small angle neutron scattering analysis of liposomes and bacteria
Two types of liposomes, commonly used in drug delivery studies, and E. coli bacteria, all prepared in H2O, were resuspended in D2O and measured with Small Angle Spin-Echo Neutron Scattering (SESANS). Modeling was performed using correlation functions for solid spheres and hollow spheres. The signal strength and curve shape were more indicative of hollow particles, indicating that the H2O-D2O exchange occurred too fast to be observed with the available time resolution. Fitting the particle diameter and membrane thickness of the hollow sphere model to the data, gave results which were in good agreement with Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) data and literature, showing as a proof-of-principle that SESANS is able to investigate such systems. SESANS may become a good alternative to conventional tritium studies or a tool with which to study intracellular vesicle transport phenomena, with possible in vivo applications. Calculations show that a substantial change in numbers of a mixed system of small and large biological particles should be observable. A possible application is the destruction by external means of great numbers of liposomes in the presence of tumor cells for triggered drug release in cancer treatment. Since SESANS is both non-invasive and non-destructive and can handle relatively thick samples, it could be a useful addition to more conventional techniques.