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Issue 5, 2014
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Self-assembly of actin scaffolds on lipid microbubbles

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Microbubbles offer unique properties as combined carriers of therapeutic payloads and diagnostic agents. Here we report on the development of novel microbubble architectures that in addition to the usual lipid shell have an actin cytoskeletal cortex assembled on their exterior. We show, using atomic force microscopy that this biomimetic coating creates a thin mesh that allows tuning of the mechanical properties of microbubbles and that the nature of actin assembly is determined by the fluidity of the lipid layer. Further, we show that it is possible to attach payloads and targeting-ligands to the actin scaffold. Resistance to gas permeation showed that the additional actin layer reduces gas diffusion across the shell and thus increases bubble lifetime. This study demonstrates a one step method to creating more complex microbubble architectures, which would be capable of further modification and tuning through the inclusion of actin binding proteins.

Graphical abstract: Self-assembly of actin scaffolds on lipid microbubbles

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Publication details

The article was received on 15 Aug 2013, accepted on 05 Nov 2013 and first published on 07 Nov 2013

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM52199K
Citation: Soft Matter, 2014,10, 694-700
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    Self-assembly of actin scaffolds on lipid microbubbles

    G. R. Heath, R. H. Abou-Saleh, S. A. Peyman, B. R. G. Johnson, S. D. Connell and S. D. Evans, Soft Matter, 2014, 10, 694
    DOI: 10.1039/C3SM52199K

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