Nav: Home

Simple, mass production of giant vesicles using a porous silicone material

October 30, 2018

A technique to generate large amounts of giant vesicle (liposome) dispersion has been developed. The technique involves adsorbing a lipid into a silicone porous material resembling a "marshmallow-like gel" and then squeezing it out like a sponge by impregnating a buffer solution.

This work was conducted by Dr. Gen Hayase (Assistant Professor) from the Tohoku University Frontier Research Institute for Interdisciplinary Sciences, and Dr. Shinichiro Nomura (Associate Professor) from the Graduate School of Engineering Robotics, Department of Robotics at Tohoku University. This simple method is expected to be applied not only as a tool for cell research requiring giant vesicles but also for medical and cosmetic purposes.

Giant vesicle (GV), a liposome consisting of a phospholipid membrane, has a structure similar to live cells and is several micrometers in size. For this reason, it has been used for various biochemical experiments such as the introduction of functional molecules into living cells, and also made into a vessel of artificial cells and molecular robotic research.

Many methods have been proposed for the preparation of GV dispersions, but in the lab, the method of producing large quantities of several hundred milliliters at one time has been limited. In 2011, Nomura discovered that GVs were generated by adsorbing lipid into porous polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and squeezing it in a buffer solution.

The practical development of the GV generation method and improvement of its efficiency is achieved by using a pore-controlled silicone composition flexible macroporous material, which can be described as a "marshmallow-like gel" given its consistency.

The microstructure of MG is composed of a skeleton with a diameter of several micrometers and a pore size of several tens of micrometers, and the fine skeleton surface has a smooth hydrophobic quality. When MG absorbs chloroform containing phospholipids and vacuum drying is done, phospholipids are thought to orient the hydrophobic group toward the pore side of the MG skeleton/hydrophilic group.

If buffer solution is impregnated here, GV is formed in the pores immediately. The GV dispersion can be removed by squeezing out this MG with a buffer solution. "We also found that the hydrophilic molecular group can be included in GV with high efficiency by just adding molecules to the buffer in advance" said Dr. Hayase.

As a demonstration, a marshmallow-like gel with lipid impregnated was packed into a commercially available "coffee pot" and pressed; GV dispersion was produced. Since it is possible to generate GV even with such a simple procedure, it is expected that the method will be useful as a way of GV generation.

The MG is relatively easy to produce, and it is possible to generate vesicles many times with the same sample. This method might be useful as both an artificial cell research tool and also have applications for medical and cosmetic products that can be generated on the spot, such as DIY. The research team is now developing a simpler MG fabrication method, which will be announced in a year.

Tohoku University

Related Lipid Articles:

Computer modeling reveals behavior of individual lipid molecules
Lipids are essential building blocks of cell membranes, which control the exchange of substances and energy between a cell and its environment.
Lipid metabolism controls brain development
A lipid metabolism enzyme controls brain stem cell activity and lifelong brain development.
Surveying the lipid landscape
Software LipidCreator enables researchers to characterize 60 lipid classes in cells with mass spectrometry.
The lipid code
So far, it has been difficult to analyze the functions of lipid molecules in living cells.
Lipid gradient that keeps your eyes wet
New understandings of how lipids function within tears could lead to better drugs for treating dry eye disease.
Lipid helps heal the eye's frontline protection
A species of a lipid that naturally helps skin injuries heal appears to also aid repair of common corneal injuries, even when other conditions, like diabetes, make healing difficult, scientists report.
Reduced stress changes profile of various lipid compounds
Reduced stress is linked to changes in the profile of plasma metabolites, a new study from the University of Eastern Finland shows.
A new therapeutic target against diseases caused by lipid accumulation in cells
Researchers from the University of Barcelona (UB) and the August Pi i Sunyer Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBAPS) found a new molecular mechanism involved in the regulation of the cholesterol movement in cells, an essential process for a proper cell functioning.
Lipid produced by organism helps control blood sugar
Blood sugar levels in obese mice were controlled more efficiently when the mice were challenged with a glucose overload and treated with 12-HEPE, a lipid produced in response to cold by brown adipose tissue.
A comprehensive atlas of genetic regulation of lipid metabolism published
An international research team has identified several novel genetic variants associated with plasma levels of lipid species and cardiovascular disease risk in humans.
More Lipid News and Lipid Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Making Amends
What makes a true apology? What does it mean to make amends for past mistakes? This hour, TED speakers explore how repairing the wrongs of the past is the first step toward healing for the future. Guests include historian and preservationist Brent Leggs, law professor Martha Minow, librarian Dawn Wacek, and playwright V (formerly Eve Ensler).
Now Playing: Science for the People

#566 Is Your Gut Leaking?
This week we're busting the human gut wide open with Dr. Alessio Fasano from the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital. Join host Anika Hazra for our discussion separating fact from fiction on the controversial topic of leaky gut syndrome. We cover everything from what causes a leaky gut to interpreting the results of a gut microbiome test! Related links: Center for Celiac Research and Treatment website and their YouTube channel
Now Playing: Radiolab

The Flag and the Fury
How do you actually make change in the world? For 126 years, Mississippi has had the Confederate battle flag on their state flag, and they were the last state in the nation where that emblem remained "officially" flying.  A few days ago, that flag came down. A few days before that, it coming down would have seemed impossible. We dive into the story behind this de-flagging: a journey involving a clash of histories, designs, families, and even cheerleading. This show is a collaboration with OSM Audio. Kiese Laymon's memoir Heavy is here. And the Hospitality Flag webpage is here.