Towards synthetic cellularity via protocell design and construction

29th May 2015
Versione stampabile

Venue: Edificio Povo 2, via Sommarive nr. 9, Povo (Tn) - Room B101
 at 2:00 p.m.

  • Stephen Mann -  Centre for Protolife Research and Centre for Organized Matter Chemistry, School of Chemistry, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TS, UK

The design and construction of compartmentalized chemical ensembles for modelling complex biological systems, exploring the origin of life, and advancing future living technologies is attracting considerable interest in a wide range of research communities. In this talk, I will review some recent experiments undertaken in my laboratory that provide steps towards synthetic cellularity using bioinspired chemistry principles and techniques. I will discuss four new protocell models based on; nanoparticle self-assembly (colloidosomes), interfacial assembly of protein-polymer nanoconjugates (proteinosomes), micro-droplet formation (coacervation), and hybrids of the above. I will use these new model systems to discuss pathways towards chemical cognition, modulated reactivity and basic cellularity in compartmentalized artificial micro-ensembles.