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Engineering motile aqueous phase-separated droplets via liposome stabilisation

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journal contribution
posted 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.

Funding

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

UK Resarch and Innovation

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History

School

  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering

Department

  • Chemical Engineering

Published in

Nature Communications

Volume

12

Issue

1

Publisher

Springer Nature

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The Authors

Publisher statement

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Springer Nature under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0). Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Acceptance date

26/01/2021

Publication date

2021-03-15

Copyright date

2021

ISSN

2041-1723

eISSN

2041-1723

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Guido Bolognesi. Deposit date: 28 April 2021

Article number

1673