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Giant Vesicles as Micro-Sized Enzymatic Reactors: Perspectives and Recent Experimental Advancements
Emiliano Altamura, Pasquale Stano, Peter Walde and Fabio Mavelli

Synthetic cell-like systems can be constructed by encapsulating an appropriate set of molecules inside lipid vesicles (liposomes). They can be used as primitive cell model or for synthetic biology/biotechnology applications, including the construction of chemical processing microsystems bases on enzyme reactions. At these aims, despite the recent advancements in the field, it is important to develop further experimental methods for liposome formation, solute encapsulation, and solute exchange across the lipid membrane. Here we focus on (i) the encapsulation of a polymerenzyme (peroxidase) conjugate inside giant vesicles (GVs) prepared from phospholipids, and the enzyme’s reaction with hydrogen peroxide and Amplex Red; and (ii) on the formation of amphotericin B pores allowing the entrance of cobalt ions inside calcein-containing vesicles. Both aspects contribute to the development of experimental methods for constructing cell-like systems capable of processing chemicals. The presented approach is also shortly discussed from the viewpoint of chemical computing.

Keywords: lipid vesicles, bio-chem-ICT, synthetic cell, amphothericin B,dendronized polymer, immobilized enzymes, enzyme gates, synthetic biology

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