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Modulation of Higher-order Behaviour in Model Protocell Communities by Artificial Phagocytosis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6333-6337
Number of pages5
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number19
Early online date12 Mar 2019
DateAccepted/In press - 12 Mar 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print - 12 Mar 2019
DatePublished (current) - 6 May 2019


Collective behaviour in mixed populations of synthetic protocells is an unexplored area of bottom-up synthetic biology. The dynamics of a model protocell community is exploited to modulate the function and higher-order behaviour of mixed populations of bioinorganic protocells in response to a process of artificial phagocytosis. Enzyme-loaded silica colloidosomes are spontaneously engulfed by magnetic Pickering emulsion (MPE) droplets containing complementary enzyme substrates to initiate a range of processes within the host/guest protocells. Specifically, catalase, lipase, or alkaline phosphatase-filled colloidosomes are used to trigger phagocytosis-induced buoyancy, membrane reconstruction, or hydrogelation, respectively, within the MPE droplets. The results highlight the potential for exploiting surface-contact interactions between different membrane-bounded droplets to transfer and co-locate discrete chemical packages (artificial organelles) in communities of synthetic protocells.

Additional information

© 2019 The Authors. Published by Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.

    Structured keywords

  • BrisSynBio
  • Bristol BioDesign Institute

    Research areas

  • colloids, emulsions, enzymes, microcapsules, protocells, SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY

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