Microfluidic device for constructing custom synthetic vesicles with controlled asymmetry
We have built a high-throughput microfluidic device for constructing custom synthetic vesicles with asymmetric membranes. Synthetic vesicles are symmetric; therefore, this instrument has the potential to transform membrane biology research by better imitating naturally-occurring membranes that are asymmetric (i.e. each leaflet of the bilayer contains a different lipid composition). The instrument provides simultaneous control over every aspect of vesicle quality: membrane lipid asymmetry, luminal content, unilamellarity, size over several orders of magnitude, uniformity, and throughput. Membranes with numerous architectures can be created, including asymmetric phospholipid-phospholipid and phospholipid-lipopolysaccharide (LPS) bilayers. The instrument provides membrane asymmetries as high as 95% immediately after vesicle formation. Over 80% of the vesicles remain stable for at least 6 weeks and the asymmetry is maintained for over 30 hours. The vesicles can be reliably transferred from the instrument and used for fundamental biofilm research, vaccine development, or other novel applications.
Vesicle asymmetry. Capability to synthesize vesicles with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) bilayers. Better representation of naturally occurring vesicles