Artificial Biological Cells

Vesicles belong to a soft class of biological materials that closely replicates the biological plasma membranes. The biological membranes are relevant to a lot of vital processes in cells that is highly susceptible to microenvironment. Since giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) reconstitutes the bi-lipid layer of cellular membrane, it is instrumental in studying many fundamental of micro-mechanics dynamics of plasma membranes in cells. GUVs has often serve as a simplified model of RBCs and is useful for studying intrinsic viscoelastic properties while staying intact against lateral membrane forces. For example, it has been showed that deformable of spherical shaped vesicle into lentil shaped undergoing shear-induced forces can have be made transiently permeable. In the work presented here, we were able to experimentally observe multiple GUVs under shearing. In doing so, we could extract and build a surface model of GUVs in different flow conditions. In contrast with observed flowing in a fixed channel width, we demonstrate a combination of microfluidic configurations (U-shaped and Y-shaped) so as to recreating certain hydrodynamics interaction of GUVs with its surrounding environment and how it deforms. Here, we also showed how the GUVs deformed as it encounters microstructured surfaces in a microfluidic system.


Australian Research Council: DE160100843


Katharina Gaus UNSW

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