University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > BSS Formal Seminars > Vesicle bionanotechnology and biophysics: from hybrid lipid-copolymer systems to anticancer peptides

Vesicle bionanotechnology and biophysics: from hybrid lipid-copolymer systems to anticancer peptides

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Natural phospholipids and synthetic block copolymers can both spontaneous self-assembly in aqueous environments to form membranes, which wrap into continuous spherical shells called vesicles. These vesicles have wide-ranging uses in industry and academia ranging from fundamental biophysical studies of model biomembranes through to drug formulation and delivery, biosensors and development of artificial cells for synthetic biology. I will present two recent projects from my group that span these applications. Firstly, I will present our work on hybrid vesicles composed of a blend of lipids and amphiphilic block copolymers. These vesicles aim to synergistically combine the biofunctionality of liposomes with the stability of polymersomes to create capsules with enhanced properties compared to the unitary systems. Significant disparity between the structure and properties of membranes formed by lipids and block copolymers make the material properties of these mixtures non-trivial. Secondly, I will present a fundamental study of the membrane interactions of a wasp venom peptide in order to uncover the mechanism behind its apparent anticancer properties.

This talk is part of the BSS Formal Seminars series.

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