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Construction of biomimetic protocells based on polyester nanoparticles and enzymeloaded polymersomes

Grant number: 22/01139-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): May 11, 2022
Effective date (End): December 01, 2022
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Physical-Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Maria Isabel Felisberti
Grantee:Giovanni Bortoloni Perin
Supervisor: Dietmar Appelhans
Host Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Research place: Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (IPF), Germany  
Associated to the scholarship:18/01562-6 - Polymers inspired by phospholipids: polyesters with dihydrogen phosphate pendent group, BP.DD


Cells are the smallest functional and structural units of biological systems and one of the most complex systems in Nature. A great number of chemical and biochemical process occurs in distinct compartments within the cell to control and organize each process without interferences from each other. This high complexity of cellular structures makes bottom-up synthetic approaches a distant dream of the scientific community for the cell reconstruction. An alternative for the construction of cell biomimetics is the development of protocellular systems that approximate one or more features of the natural cell. This project aims the construction of hierarchical and multicompartmental protocells based on two nano-sized and pH-responsive assembled structures, a nanoparticle-based on phosphorylated polyesters, and a polymersome based on poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly[2(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate], both disperse within a micro-sized coacervate composed of carboxymethyl-dextran and poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride). The on-demand delivery of the substrate loaded into the nanoparticles to the enzyme located in the lumen of the polymersome upon a pH change and the occurrence of the enzymatic reaction will be investigated. (AU)

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