Engineering motile aqueous phase-separated droplets via liposome stabilisation
journal contributionposted on 28.04.2021, 09:16 by Shaobin Zhang, Claudia Contini, James W Hindley, Guido BolognesiGuido Bolognesi, Yuval Elani, Oscar Ces
There are increasing efforts to engineer functional compartments that mimic cellular behaviours from the bottom-up. One behaviour that is receiving particular attention is motility, due to its biotechnological potential and ubiquity in living systems. Many existing platforms make use of the Marangoni effect to achieve motion in water/oil (w/o) droplet systems. However, most of these systems are unsuitable for biological applications due to biocompatibility issues caused by the presence of oil phases. Here we report a biocompatible all aqueous (w/w) PEG/dextran Pickering-like emulsion system consisting of liposome-stabilised cell-sized droplets, where the stability can be easily tuned by adjusting liposome composition and concentration. We demonstrate that the compartments are capable of negative chemotaxis: these droplets can respond to a PEG/dextran polymer gradient through directional motion down to the gradient. The biocompatibility, motility and partitioning abilities of this droplet system offers new directions to pursue research in motion-related biological processes.
China Scholarship Council (CSC)
Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Supporting Fund
ISSF Springboard Fellowship
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Doctoral Prize Fellowship
An engineering rulebook for interfacing living and non-living cells
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