The achievement of light-responsive behaviours is an important target for protocell engineering to allow control of fundamental protocellular processes such as communication via diffusible chemical signals, shape changes or even motility at the flick of a switch. As a step towards this ambitious goal, here we describe the synthesis of a novel poly(ethylene glycol)-based crosslinker, reactive towards nucleophiles, that effectively degrades with UV light (405 nm). We demonstrate its utility for the fabrication of the first protocell membranes capable of light-induced disassembly, for the photo-generation of patterns of protocells, and for the modulation of protocell membrane permeability. Overall, our results not only open up new avenues towards the engineering of spatially organised, communicating networks of protocells, and of micro-compartmentalised systems for information storage and release, but also have important implications for other research fields such as drug delivery and soft materials chemistry

A Photo-degradable Crosslinker for the Development of Light-responsive Protocell Membranes

P. Gobbo
2023-01-01

Abstract

The achievement of light-responsive behaviours is an important target for protocell engineering to allow control of fundamental protocellular processes such as communication via diffusible chemical signals, shape changes or even motility at the flick of a switch. As a step towards this ambitious goal, here we describe the synthesis of a novel poly(ethylene glycol)-based crosslinker, reactive towards nucleophiles, that effectively degrades with UV light (405 nm). We demonstrate its utility for the fabrication of the first protocell membranes capable of light-induced disassembly, for the photo-generation of patterns of protocells, and for the modulation of protocell membrane permeability. Overall, our results not only open up new avenues towards the engineering of spatially organised, communicating networks of protocells, and of micro-compartmentalised systems for information storage and release, but also have important implications for other research fields such as drug delivery and soft materials chemistry
2023
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https://chemistry-europe.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/chem.202302058
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3058821
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