Engineering novel cell mimetic membrane architectures

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

Abstract

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.

Publications

10 25 50

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