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Issue 7, 2009
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Self-assembly approaches for the construction of cell architecture mimics

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Abstract

Despite impressive advances in chemistry and biology, the mimicking of the complexity and functionality of natural cells in artificial systems still remains in its infancy. Liposomes for instance have been extensively used to reproduce some basic properties of cells and particularly biological membranes, whereas other studies have focused on the elaboration of fibrous networks to represent intra- and extra cellular matrices. But so far, there are only a few examples in which both cytoskeleton and membranes have been combined. Here we discuss the different strategies towards cell construction mimics explored so far, which consist of the incorporation of artificial fibrillar networks within liposomes. These fibrillar networks can be based on polymers or self-assembled structures, and the examples illustrate how their confinement within artificial cells can affect their shape, stability or compartmentalization. The challenge for the next decades will be to develop systems capable of more complex functions like endo- and exocytosis and motility by including some of the dynamic properties of the natural cytoskeleton.

Graphical abstract: Self-assembly approaches for the construction of cell architecture mimics

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Publication details

The article was received on 21 Jul 2008, accepted on 30 Oct 2008 and first published on 03 Feb 2009


Article type: Highlight
DOI: 10.1039/B812388H
Citation: Soft Matter, 2009,5, 1320-1327
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    Self-assembly approaches for the construction of cell architecture mimics

    A. M. Brizard and J. H. van Esch, Soft Matter, 2009, 5, 1320
    DOI: 10.1039/B812388H

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