Formation of geometrically complex lipid nanotube-vesicle networks of higher-order topologies
Journal article, 2002

We present a microelectrofusion method for construction of fluid-state lipid bilayer networks of high geometrical complexity up to fully connected networks with genus = 3 topology. Within networks, self-organizing branching nanotube architectures could be produced where intersections spontaneously arrange themselves into three-way junctions with an angle of 120 degrees between each nanotube. Formation of branching nanotube networks appears to follow a minimum-bending energy algorithm that solves for pathway minimization. It is also demonstrated that materials can be injected into specific containers within a network by nanotube-mediated transport of satellite vesicles having defined contents. Using a combination of microelectrofusion, spontaneous nanotube pattern formation, and satellite-vesicle injection, complex networks of containers and nanotubes can be produced for a range of applications in, for example, nanofluidics and artificial cell design. In addition, this electrofusion method allows integration of biological cells into lipid nanotube-vesicle networks.

Molecular Structure





M. Karlsson

Kristin Sott

University of Gothenburg

M. Davidson

A. S. Cans

P. Linderholm

D. Chiu

Owe Orwar

Department of Physical Chemistry

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

0027-8424 (ISSN) 1091-6490 (eISSN)

Vol. 99 18 11573-8

Subject Categories

Chemical Sciences

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