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Publication - Professor Stephen Mann

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


    Rodríguez-Arco, L, Kumar, BVVSP, Li, M, Patil, AJ & Mann, S, 2019, ‘Modulation of Higher-order Behaviour in Model Protocell Communities by Artificial Phagocytosis’. Angewandte Chemie - International Edition, vol 58., pp. 6333-6337


    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.

    Full details in the University publications repository