From vesicles to protocells: The roles of amphiphilic molecules

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


It is very challenging to construct protocells from molecular assemblies. An important step in this challenge is the achievement of vesicle dynamics that are relevant to cellular functions, such as membrane trafficking and self-reproduction, using amphiphilic molecules. Soft matter physics will play an important role in the development of vesicles that have these functions. Here, we show that simple binary phospholipid vesicles have the potential to reproduce the relevant functions of adhesion, pore formation and self-reproduction of vesicles, by coupling the lipid geometries (spontaneous curvatures) and the phase separation. This achievement will elucidate the pathway from molecular assembly to cellular life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)651-675
Number of pages25
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Mar 2


  • Adhesion
  • Deformation
  • Phase separation
  • Pore formation
  • Protocell
  • Self-reproduction
  • Spontaneous curvature
  • Vesicle


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