On the interactions between RNA and titrateable lipid layers: Implications for RNA delivery with lipid nanoparticles

10 July 2023, Version 2
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Characterising the interaction between cationic ionisable lipids (CIL) and nucleic acids (NA) is key to understand the process of RNA lipid nanoparticle (LNP) formation and release of NAs from LNPs. Here, we have used different surface techniques to reveal the effect of pH and NA type on the interaction with a model system of DOPC and the CIL DLin-MC3-DMA (MC3). At only 5 % MC3, differences in the structure and dynamics of the lipid layer were observed. Both pH and %MC3 were shown to affect the absorption behaviour of erythropoietin mRNA, polyadenylic acid (polyA) and polyuridylic acid (polyU). The adsorbed amount of all studied NAs was found to increase with decreasing pH and increasing %MC3 but with different effects on the lipid layer, which could be linked to the NA secondary structure. For polyA at pH 6, adsorption to the surface of the layer was observed, whereas for other conditions and NAs, penetration of the NA into the layer resulted in the formation of a multilayer structure. By comparison to simulations excluding the secondary structure, difference in adsorption behaviours between polyA and polyU could be observed, indicating that also the NA’s secondary structure affected the MC3-NA interactions.


Lipid bilayers
RNA interaction
Neutron reflectometry
nucleic acids
cationic ionisable lipids
molecular dynamics (MD) simulations

Supplementary materials

Electronic Supplementary Information for "On the interactions between RNA and titrateable lipid layers: Implications for RNA delivery with lipid nanoparticles"
Complementary interfacial and simulation data


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