Dewetting-Induced Membrane Formation by Adhesion of Amphiphile-Laden Interface

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Entry by Max Darnell, AP 225, Fall 2011

Reference:

Title: Dewetting-Induced Membrane Formation by Adhesion of Amphiphile-Laden Interface

Authors: Shum HC, Santanach-Carreras E, Kim JW, Ehrlicher A, Bibette J, Weitz DA

Journal: J Am Chem Soc. 2011 Mar 30;133(12):4420-6. Epub 2011 Mar 7


Summary

In biology, the cell utilizes a number of structures to encapsulate aqueous solutions. For example, liposomes and vesicles can encapsulate proteins and other cargo, as well isolate the surrounding environment from deleterious internal conditions such as low pH. Such methods are effective in biology in allowing enzymes to function at varied conditions without impacting the rest of the cell, as well as providing a means to transport cargoes within and outside the cell.

The artificial leveraging of such structures for bioengineering uses holds great promise in a number of areas. For instance, polymersomes could be used for drug delivery, intra-cell bioreactors for enzymatic reactions, and could be used in artificial cells. one of the main issues, however, with developing artificial vesicles is that there is very little control over vesicle formation, as the process is mainly mediated by self-assembly, which is poorly understood. One alternative method has involved a stream of polymer containing suspension directed at the cargo of choice, but such a method has showed poor efficacy due to poor control over all of the polymer in the stream.

In the past, water-in-oil emulsions have been used to aggregate emulsions, but an approach involving water-in-oil emulsions formed via capillary microfluidics is a promising technique to create polymersomes with a high degree of control.

Methods

Results

Connection to Soft Matter