Accueil  >  Séminaires  >  The many faces of emulsions
The many faces of emulsions
Par Léa-Laetitia Pontani (INSP, UPMC)
Le 11 Octobre 2016 à 11h00 - Salle de séminaires 5ème étage, Tour 32-33


We use emulsions as a model system for a wide range of applications: from the study of biomimetic tissues to the production of patchy particles for self assembly, or the exploration of granular matter physics. In particular we design bio-inspired emulsions that are stabilized with phospholipids and functionalized with proteins in order to mimic specific cellular functions, such as lipid domain formation, cell-cell adhesion or even hemifusion. The assembly of the droplets in 3D is controlled through their adhesion energy, which can be tuned through the binders grafted on the surface. For example quasi-permanent bonds are created through biotin-streptavidin links, while reversible bonds are created with complementary single DNA strands. We seek to use this versatile system to quantify cellular interactions in a simplified in vitro framework. Moreover we use the emulsion system to control the interactions between the droplets in order to drive their directed self-assembly into 3D structures. For example, immiscible lipids on the surface of emulsion droplets are used to create stable domain patterns, thus providing a route for patchy particle synthesis. Functionalizing these patches with binders would allow the droplets to aggregate with a given valency. Bio-inspired emulsions are therefore a useful system to explore questions in biophysics, but also provide a new class of liquid patchy particles for self-assembly.