In Situ Synthesis of Lipid Membranes
Neal Devaraj, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Bioengineering,
University of California,San Diego
Host: Arne Gericke, Ph.D.
Our group is interested in developing synthetic membranes through artificial phospholipid synthesis and modification. Living organisms carry out the de novo synthesis and subsequent remodeling of phospholipid membranes. The development of comparatively dynamic artificial lipid membranes will require simple methods to mimic how native phospholipid membranes are synthesized and remodeled. Using reversible coupling reactions, we have been able to sequentially form and remodel artificial lipid membranes. Interestingly, in situ remodeling of phospholipids is capable of controlling micrometer scale changes in vesicle spatial organization, composition and morphology. Recently we have also begun efforts to explore if enzymes can trigger de novo vesicle formation, a phenomenon that is absent (to our current knowledge) in living cells.