Being the front line of a cell means that plasma membranes control what is allowed through into the cell. Many of these mechanisms are not understood though. This is why research into how membranes work is so important. Drug delivery is one aspect that requires research into how plasma membranes work. It is not know what the largest molecule is that is allowed through a plasma membrane (Mehier-Humbert, Bettinger, Yan, & Guy, 2005). The question is why then do some molecules gain access to the cell while others do not. Pathogens such as virus are sometimes have protein coats (Bruce Alberts et al., 1989) that allow them access. The question becomes how do we insert our own nanoparticles (Verma & Stellacci, 2010). These require breaching into the cell membrane that do not happen naturally. Thus research is required to fully understand the cell membrane as well as how to deliver certain nanoparticles.
Cellular membranes of animal cells and several classes of small
pollutants/drug-like molecules (e.g., carbonaceous nanoparticles,
Investigating different simulation techniques including: force field, program, and membrane composition.
Understanding the mechanisms of entrance into the cell
Effect on the cell life cycles