- Passive transport across lipid membranes
- Biomimetic synthetic cell membranes
- Green nanomanufacturing
- Nanoscale structure formation in model lipid membranes
- Microfluidic reaction control by phase-selective extraction
Nanoscale structure formation in model lipid membranes
Lipid phase segregation leading to the formation of nanoscale lipid rafts is important in many cellular processes, including signaling and viral docking. Existing membrane model systems do not exhibit this nanoscale raft formation phenomenon: phase segregation in model membranes takes place on much larger scales. We are designing biomimetic systems that reproduce the nanoscale phase separation behavior observed in cells. These systems promise to be useful tools for studying the biophysics of lipid rafts and raft-protein interactions as well as platforms for screening potential raft-targeted drugs.
Microfluidic reaction control by phase-selective extraction
We are designing a droplet-based microfluidic reactor system in which droplet fusion and mixing is controlled by the selective extraction of an immiscible droplet-dividing phase. The extraction process is completely automatic and driven by the material properties of the microfluidic device. This system has applications to analytic titrations, combinatorial chemistry, and nanoparticle synthesis.