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Engineering thermoresponsive phase separated vesicles formed via emulsion phase transfer as a content-release platform

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posted on 29.06.2018, 08:50 by Kaiser Karamdad, James W. Hindley, Guido BolognesiGuido Bolognesi, Mark S. Friddin, Robert V. Law, Nicholas J. Brooks, Oscar Ces, Yuval Elani
© 2018 The Royal Society of Chemistry. Giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) are a well-established tool for the study of membrane biophysics and are increasingly used as artificial cell models and functional units in biotechnology. This trend is driven by the development of emulsion-based generation methods such as Emulsion Phase Transfer (EPT), which facilitates the encapsulation of almost any water-soluble compounds (including biomolecules) regardless of size or charge, is compatible with droplet microfluidics, and allows GUVs with asymmetric bilayers to be assembled. However, the ability to control the composition of membranes formed via EPT remains an open question; this is key as composition gives rise to an array of biophysical phenomena which can be used to add functionality to membranes. Here, we evaluate the use of GUVs constructed via this method as a platform for phase behaviour studies and take advantage of composition-dependent features to engineer thermally-responsive GUVs. For the first time, we generate ternary GUVs (DOPC/DPPC/cholesterol) using EPT, and by compensating for the lower cholesterol incorporation efficiencies, show that these possess the full range of phase behaviour displayed by electroformed GUVs. As a demonstration of the fine control afforded by this approach, we demonstrate release of dye and peptide cargo when ternary GUVs are heated through the immiscibility transition temperature, and show that release temperature can be tuned by changing vesicle composition. We show that GUVs can be individually addressed and release triggered using a laser beam. Our findings validate EPT as a suitable method for generating phase separated vesicles and provide a valuable proof-of-concept for engineering content release functionality into individually addressable vesicles, which could have a host of applications in the development of smart synthetic biosystems.

Funding

This work was supported by the EPSRC via grants EP/J017566/1, EP/K038648/1, EP/K503733/1, EPSRC Fellowship EP/N016998/1 awarded to YE and an EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training Studentship from the Institute of Chemical Biology (Imperial College London) awarded to JWH.

History

School

  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering

Department

  • Chemical Engineering

Published in

Chemical Science

Volume

9

Issue

21

Pages

4851 - 4858

Citation

KARAMDAD, K. ...et al., 2018. Engineering thermoresponsive phase separated vesicles formed via emulsion phase transfer as a content-release platform. Chemical Science, 9(21), pp. 4851-4858.

Publisher

Royal Society of Chemistry

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Acceptance date

22/04/2018

Publication date

2018-05-11

Notes

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Royal Society of Chemistry under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

ISSN

2041-6520

eISSN

2041-6539

Language

en