US and Europe university collaboration create library of bio-membranes that mimic cellular membranes
The synthetic biomaterials could someday be used for nanomedicine and advanced drug delivery
The research team includes chemists and engineers from the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) and Jyväskylä University in Finland. According to the press release from the University of Pennsylvania, the researchers “have chemically coupled hydrophilic and hydrophobic dendrons to create amphiphilic Janus dendrimers with a rich palette of morphologies including cubosomes, disks, tubular vesicles and helical ribbons and confirmed the assembled structures using cryogenic transmission electron microscopy and fluorescence microscopy.
The release goes on to note: “These materials show special promise because their membranes are the thickness of natural bilayer membranes, but they have superior and tunable materials properties,” said Daniel A. Hammer, the Alfred G. and Meta A. Ennis Professor of Bioengineering at Penn. “Because of their membrane thickness, it will be more straightforward to incorporate biological components into the vesicle membranes, such as receptors and channels.”