Asymmetric Flow Field-Flow Fractionation (AF4) combined with multidetector analysis form a promising technique in the field of nanoparticle characterization. This system is able to measure the dimensions and physicochemical properties of nanoparticles with unprecedented accuracy and precision. Here, for the first time, this technique is optimized to characterize the interaction between an archetypal antimicrobial peptide and synthetic membranes. By using charged and neutral liposomes it is possible to mimic some of the charge characteristics of biological membranes. The use of AF4 system allows determining, in a single analysis, information regarding the selectivity of the peptides, the quantity of peptides bound to each liposome, the induced change in the size distribution and morphology of the liposomes. The results obtained provide relevant information for the study of structure-activity relationships in the context of membrane-induced antimicrobial action. This information will contribute to the rational design of potent antimicrobial agents in the future. Moreover, the application of this method to other liposome systems is straightforward and would be extremely useful for a comprehensive characterization with regard to size distribution and protein interaction in the nanomedicine field.
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