Generating Asymmetric Synthetic Liposomes Using A Modular Microcapillary Platform
Alex McDonald a, Kaitlyn Ramsay a, Katherine Elvira a
a Chemistry Department, University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Proceedings of Emerging Investigators in Microfluidics Conference (EIMC)
Online, Spain, 2021 July 20th - 21st
Organizers: Adrian Nightingale, Darius Rackus and Claire Stanley
Poster, Alex McDonald, 046
Publication date: 5th July 2021

Since the 1960's, liposomes have been used to model synthetic cells and have been shown to be powerful tools to mitigate costs in drug discovery and development. The next phase in their development, asymmetric liposomes, are capable of more closely mimicking cells. Red blood cells were among the first cells that were mimicked artificially and their asymmetric properties in vivo are well known to have a significant impact on their physiological properties. As a result, synthetic asymmetric red blood cell-like liposomes are good candidates for drug discovery and development work. Here we show the generation of lipid-based synthetic cells using a microcapillary microfluidic platform. We show for the first time a new method for the formation of liposomes where the lipids can be inserted into the aqueous phases for asymmetric liposome formation. We have also improved upon the biomimeticity of these synthetic cells through the use of a novel combination of mammalian lipids and membrane asymmetry as a step towards mimicking red blood cells.

This research was funded through Dr Elvira’s Natural Sciences and En-gineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Discovery grant. Dr Elvira’s position is funded through the Canada Research Chairprogram and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar in partnership with the Pacific Alzheimer Research Foundation. Her laboratory was equipped using funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation John R. Evans Leaders Fund, the British Columbia Knowledge Development Fund (BCKDF) and the NSERC Research Tools and Instruments program. We would like to thank Arash Dalili and Stanislav Konorov for their guidance and invaluable input. 

© Fundació Scito
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