Contactless Stimulation and Control of Biomimetic Nanotubes by Calcium Ion Gradients
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2018

Membrane tubular structures are important communication pathways between cells and cellular compartments. Studying these structures in their native environment is challenging, due to the complexity of membranes and varying chemical conditions within and outside of the cells. This work demonstrates that a calcium ion gradient, applied to a synthetic lipid nanotube, triggers lipid flow directed toward the application site, resulting in the formation of a bulge aggregate. This bulge can be translated in a contactless manner by moving a calcium ion source along the lipid nanotube. Furthermore, entrapment of polystyrene nanobeads within the bulge does not tamper the bulge movement and allows transporting of the nanoparticle cargo along the lipid nanotube. In addition to the synthetic lipid nanotubes, the response of cell plasma membrane tethers to local calcium ion stimulation is investigated. The directed membrane transport in these tethers is observed, but with slower kinetics in comparison to the synthetic lipid nanotubes. The findings of this work demonstrate a novel and contactless mode of transport in lipid nanotubes, guided by local exposure to calcium ions. The observed lipid nanotube behavior can advance the current understanding of the cell membrane tubular structures, which are constantly reshaped during dynamic cellular processes.

lipid transport

calcium ion gradients

lipid nanotubes

spontaneous curvature

membrane shape transition


Vladimir Kirejev

Chalmers, Kemi och kemiteknik, Kemi och biokemi

Baharan Ali Doosti

Chalmers, Kemi och kemiteknik, Kemi och biokemi

Mehrnaz Shaali

Chalmers, Kemi och kemiteknik, Kemi och biokemi

Gavin Jeffries

Chalmers, Kemi och kemiteknik, Kemi och biokemi

Tatsiana Lobovkina

Chalmers, Kemi och kemiteknik, Kemi och biokemi


1613-6810 (ISSN) 1613-6829 (eISSN)

Vol. 14 21 1703541


Nanovetenskap och nanoteknik



Biokemi och molekylärbiologi






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