Controlled adhesion, membrane pinning and vesicle transport by Janus particles†
The interactions between biomembranes and particles are key to many applications, but the lack of controllable model systems to study them limits the progress in their research. Here, we describe how Janus polystyrene microparticles, half coated with iron, can be partially engulfed by artificial cells, namely giant vesicles, with the goals to control and investigate their adhesion and degree of encapsulation. The interaction between the Janus particles and these model cell membrane systems is mediated by electrostatic charge, offering a further mode of modulation in addition to the iron patches. The ferromagnetic particle coatings also enable manipulation and transport of the vesicles by magnetic fields.