Anand Bala Subramaniam, University of California, Merced
BuBuilding simplified in vitro models of complex biological systems is a proven method to study cellular processes quantitatively. Our lab is currently investigating mechanisms for building the cell membrane by fabricating bioinspired giant liposomes from purified lipids. Giant liposomes — through the entrapment of appropriate enzymes, ribosomes, DNA, and cytoskeletal components — can recapitulate complex cellular processes in a simplified geometry. In this talk, I will report on our discovery that drying lipids onto commercially available cellulose paper and then rehydrating the films in aqueous buffers allows rapid formation of giant liposomes. The optimized protocol, which we term PAPYRUS for Paper-Abetted liPid hYdRation in aqUeous Solutions, is general, and can produce liposomes in various aqueous media and at elevated temperatures. We demonstrate easy encapsulation of macromolecules and production of liposomes with membranes of complex compositions. I will close by mapping out the next steps towards building artificial cells from paper, and the progress our lab has made in this area.