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Institute of Bioengineering



Prof. Stephen Mann. Synthetic cellularity via protocell design and construction.

Date: 14 May 2014   Time: 15:00 - 16:00

The design and construction of compartmentalized chemical ensembles for modelling complex biological systems, exploring the origin of life, and advancing future living technologies is attracting considerable interest in a wide range of research communities. In this talk, I will review some recent experiments undertaken in my laboratory that provide steps towards synthetic cellularity. I will discuss three new protocell models based on; (i) nanoparticle self-assembly (colloidosomes) [1], (ii) interfacial assembly of protein-polymer nanoconjugates (proteinosomes) [2], and (iii) micro-droplet formation (coacervation) [3]. In each case, the underlying concepts and emerging properties will be discussed.

[1]. Li M et al., Membrane-gated permeability in self-activated inorganic protocells. Nature Chemistry, 5, 529-536 (2013).
[2]. Huang X, et al., Interfacial Assembly of Protein-polymer Nano-conjugates into Stimulus-Responsive Biomimetic Protocells. Nature Communications 4, 2239 (2013) DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3239, 1-9 (2013).
[3]. Koga, S., et al., Peptideā€“nucleotide microdroplets as a step towards a membrane-free protocell model. Nature Chem. 3, 720-724 (2011).

Location:  PP1 Theatre