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Bilayer networks within a hydrogel shell: A robust chassis for artificial cells and a platform for membrane studies

Baxani, Divesh K., Morgan, Alex J. L., Jamieson, William D., Allender, Christopher J., Barrow, David A. and Castell, Oliver K. 2016. Bilayer networks within a hydrogel shell: A robust chassis for artificial cells and a platform for membrane studies. Angewandte Chemie International Edition 55 (46) , pp. 14240-14245. 10.1002/anie.201607571

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The ability to make artificial lipid bilayers compatible with a wide range of environments, and with sufficient structural rigidity for manual handling, would open up a wealth of opportunities for their more routine use in realworld applications. Although droplet interface bilayers (DIBs) have been demonstrated in a host of laboratory applications, from chemical logic to biosynthesis reaction vessels, their wider use is hampered by a lack of mechanical stability and the largely manual methods employed in their production. Multiphase microfluidics has enabled us to construct hierarchical triple emulsions with a semipermeable shell, in order to form robust, bilayer-bound, droplet networks capable of communication with their external surroundings. These constructs are stable in air, water, and oil environments and overcome a critical obstacle of achieving structural rigidity without compromising environmental interaction. This paves the way for practical application of artificial membranes or droplet networks in diverse areas such as medical applications, drug testing, biophysical studies and their use as synthetic cells.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Pharmacy
Subjects: R Medicine > RS Pharmacy and materia medica
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: lipid bilayers; membranes; microfluidics; proteins; protocells
Additional Information: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license.
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1433-7851
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 14 November 2016
Date of Acceptance: 13 September 2016
Last Modified: 21 May 2022 08:20

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