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Monodisperse Uni- and Multicompartment Liposomes

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posted on 31.05.2016, 00:00 by Nan-Nan Deng, Maaruthy Yelleswarapu, Wilhelm T. S. Huck
Liposomes are self-assembled phospholipid vesicles with great potential in fields ranging from targeted drug delivery to artificial cells. The formation of liposomes using microfluidic techniques has seen considerable progress, but the liposomes formation process itself has not been studied in great detail. As a result, high throughput, high-yielding routes to monodisperse liposomes with multiple compartments have not been demonstrated. Here, we report on a surfactant-assisted microfluidic route to uniform, single bilayer liposomes, ranging from 25 to 190 μm, and with or without multiple inner compartments. The key of our method is the precise control over the developing interfacial energies of complex W/O/W emulsion systems during liposome formation, which is achieved via an additional surfactant in the outer water phase. The liposomes consist of single bilayers, as demonstrated by nanopore formation experiments and confocal fluorescence microscopy, and they can act as compartments for cell-free gene expression. The microfluidic technique can be expanded to create liposomes with a multitude of coupled compartments, opening routes to networks of multistep microreactors.

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