Giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) are an excellent model for the investigation of lipid membranes, the study of membrane proteins and ion channel in a biomimetic environment, and in the creation of artificial cells. Several methods exist for the preparation of GUVs however all of them have a limited scope for lipid composition, ionic strength conditions or they required special equipment and microfabrication devices. To overcome these restrictions, we have recently developped on-demand methods for the formation of GUVs.
The first method results in the formation of individual giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) connected to a multilamellar vesicle (MLV), by means of localized heating. These MLVs provide a lipid reservoir for the construction of lipid nanotube-vesicle networks (NVNs). A distinct advantage of this method is the ability to create single GUV connected to MLV from different type of lipids at selected locations.
The second method a rapid on-demand method for generation of GUVs from lipid films surface by means of localized heating. This technique enables formation of GUVs from different types of lipids, in various ionic strength conditions and with the ability to encapsulate molecules. Another advantage of this method is the dry storage of lipid film surfaces and subsequent use, allowing a stock on the shelves on different types of lipids for on-demand generation of vesicles.Movies of formation of GUVs during the heating
1.Billerit Celine, Wegrzyn Ilona, Jeffries Gavin D. M., Dommersnes Paul, Orwar Owe, Jesorka Aldo, "Heat-induced formation of single giant unilamellar vesicles", Soft Matter, 2011, 7, 20: 9751-9757, pdf, SI.
2. Billerit Celine, Jeffries Gavin D. M., Orwar Owe, Jesorka Aldo, "Formation of giant unilamellar vesicles from spin-coated lipid films by localized IR heating", Soft Matter, 2012, 8, 42: 10823-10826, pdf, SI.