Biology maintains its complex network of biochemical interactions and reactions by spatially localising these processes into distinct compartments. These compartments are usually confined by highly dynamic and functional membranes, which regulate material transport processes within the cell. Physical scientists have developed methods to reconstitute in vitro models of these functional interfaces and compartments, whether they may be membranes composed of natural lipids, or biomimetic self-assembled membranes constructed from block copolymers or polyelectrolytes. This themed issue is devoted to research into understanding, mimicking and harnessing the compartmentalisation of biology using in vitro model systems.
The Guest Editors for this themed collection are Barbara Ciani (University of Sheffield, UK) and Paul Beales (University of Leeds, UK).