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Journal Article

Light-triggered cargo loading and division of DNA-containing giant unilamellar lipid vesicles

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Dreher,  Yannik
Cellular Biophysics, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

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Jahnke,  Kevin
Cellular Biophysics, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

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Schröter,  Martin
Cellular Biophysics, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

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Göpfrich,  Kerstin
Cellular Biophysics, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Dreher, Y., Jahnke, K., Schröter, M., & Göpfrich, K. (2021). Light-triggered cargo loading and division of DNA-containing giant unilamellar lipid vesicles. Nano Letters, 21(14), 5952-5957. doi:10.1021/acs.nanolett.1c00822.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0008-DD91-B
Abstract
A minimal synthetic cell should contain a substrate for information storage and have the capability to divide. Notable efforts were made to assemble functional synthetic cells from the bottom up, however often lacking the capability to reproduce. Here, we develop a mechanism to fully control reversible cargo loading and division of DNA-containing giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) with light. We make use of the photosensitizer Chlorin e6 (Ce6) which self-assembles into lipid bilayers and leads to local lipid peroxidation upon illumination. On the time scale of minutes, illumination induces the formation of transient pores, which we exploit for cargo encapsulation or controlled release. In combination with osmosis, complete division of two daughter GUVs can be triggered within seconds of illumination due to a spontaneous curvature increase. We ultimately demonstrate the division of a selected DNA-containing GUV with full spatiotemporal control—proving the relevance of the division mechanism for bottom-up synthetic biology.