Professor van Hest, chair of Bio-inorganic Chemistry and scientific director of the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems at Eindhoven University of Technology

Compartmentalization is generally regarded as one of the key prerequisites for life. To better understand its role, there is a clear need for model systems in which life-like properties can be installed. In this lecture I will discuss a synthetic cell platform composed of a complex polymer coacervate formed from oppositely charged amylose derivatives and stabilized by a semi-permeable polymer membrane. The coacervate structure resembles better the crowded environment observed in the cytoplasm than vesicular structures normally do. Cargo, such as enzymes, can be highly effectively loaded in the coacervates, based on complementary charge and affinity. This allows protocell communication with this robust synthetic platform. Via this system we have been able to show that we can bring enzymes involved in cascade reactions closer to each other, facilitating the outcome of the process. Using natural scaffolding proteins we can controllably take up and release proteins from the artificial environment, which mimics natural secretion. We have reconstructed the cellular architecture of a eukaryotic cell by incorporating multiple artificial organelles and an artificial cytoskeleton in the interior. Finally, we are able to incorporate life-like features such as motility in these structures, making this class of artificial cells a very versatile platform to study and mimic biological processes.


Ponente del seminario: Jan van Hest
Fecha del seminario: 12/04/2024 12:00
Lugar del seminario: Salón de actos IQF


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