Assembling cell-mimicking functional modules through bioengineering, nowadays commonly known by the notion of synthetic cells, has gained tremendous interest in recent years. Such a bottom-up approach – studying a limited number of key components in a well-defined environment – is particularly useful as living systems are notoriously complex, which makes studying an entire cell to decipher the key cellular machinery for a particular function a very difficult task. This proposal aims to design cell-mimicking membranous vesicles that can undergo shape transformations and exhibit primitive migration in response to stimuli using a microfluidic platform. The manipulation will be achieved by combining three important biological materials to create a responsive hybrid system: a deformable membrane, phases-separated liquid droplets, and force-generating biopolymers. The project will contribute significantly to the worldwide efforts of building synthetic cells and also gain fundamental knowledge regarding the role of LLPS in cellular morphogenesis. Lastly, the proposed systems may be useful in biomedicine, from developing synthetic tissues to designing micro-robots for local diagnosis and cargo delivery.
|Effective start/end date
|1/06/21 → …
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