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Membrane Skeleton Liposomes

Conventional liposomes furthermore differ from natural cell membranes by their absence of a cytoskeleton. Such an inner membrane skeleton, inter alia, serves to mechanically stabilize cell membranes. Within one of the projects under the umbrella of the former "Collaborative Research Center" (Sonderforschungsbereich; SFB) 428 (1997-2008), we developed so-called membrane skeleton liposomes (MSLs) furnished with an internal synthetic cytoskeleton and investigated the effects of this articifical skeleton on various membrane functions.

Among other aspects, the works in this project included chemical syntheses (PhD theses by Dr. Thomas Uhlmann, Dr. Dominic Gutmayer, and Dr. Andreas Neub), cryo-electron microscopic investigations, microscopic examinations on the example of so-called giant liposomes as well as  31P-NMR-measurements (PhD thesis by Dr. Oliver Stauch, together with Professor Dr. G. Kothe, and Dr. G. Althoff, Institute for Physical Chemistry, Freiburg, Germany), 1H-PFG-NMR-measurements (PhD thesis by Dr. Andreas Neub, together with Professor Dr. Christian Mayer, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany), and studies by atomic force microscopy (with Professor Dr. Udo Bakowsky, University of Marburg, Germany). In his PhD thesis, Dr. Christian Zimmer performed further studies on the synthesis, analysis, physicochemical characterization and interaction of MSL with cells (2010).


Gutmayer D, Thomann R, Bakowsky U, Schubert R: Synthesis of a polymer skeleton at the inner leaflet of liposomal membranes: Polymerization of membrane-adsorbed pH-sensitive monomers, Biomacromolecules 7, 1422-1428, 2006. [Epub]

Stauch O, Uhlmann T, Fröhlich M, Thomann R, El-Badry M, Kim Y-K, Schubert R: Mimicking a cytoskeleton by coupling poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) to the inner leaflet of liposomal membranes: Effects of photopolymerization on vesicle shape and polymer architecture, Biomacromolecules 3, 324-332, 2002. [Epub]




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