Engineering novel cell mimetic membrane architectures

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Dept of Chemistry


Cell mimicry - the ability to imitate the physical architecture, function and behaviour of cells - is proving to be an increasingly useful conceptual framework in (i) furthering our understanding of biological systems and (ii) constructing novel bio-inspired devices for clinical and industrial applications. The ability to generate membrane-based structures is proving to be especially powerful in both respects. However, the field has reached an impasse: although plasma membrane mimics are well established, mimics of alternative membrane structures are lacking. In this project, a suite of droplet-based technologies to assemble, manipulate, and functionalise synthetic analogues of a repertoire of membranous motifs - including synapses, nuclear envelopes and double membranes - will be developed, and their biophysical properties characterised. This will lead to a step change in our ability to generate artificial cell systems from the bottom up, allowing us to reproduce features associated with intra-cellular compartmentalisation and inter-cellular communication. This project is multidisciplinary, incorporating elements of chemical biology, microfluidics, biophysics and biointerface science.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S023518/1 01/10/2019 31/03/2028
2281983 Studentship EP/S023518/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2022 Colin Pilkington