Info-sensitizer-container and phase-diagrams

Physical parameters of amphiphiles and precusors

The physical properties of the amphiphiles and precursors used in the protocell are essential: for example, the headgroup area that significantly determines the properties of the structures. (this project will be carried out in collaboration with Baete Kloesgen, Memphys).

What are the headgroup size of both main amphiphilic components of the protocell as used in current growth and division experiments?

  • How does the mixing of both compounds influence their packing?
  • How do environmental conditions and alterations thereof influence them?

Contact: Pierre-Alain Monnard

Project two DNA/Protocell: Linking a DNA with the container of a protocell
The protocell envisioned a construction of a chemical system that is composed of nucleic acid strands as electron relay molecules.

  • Synthesis of bioconjugates: amphiphilic DNA
  • Investigation of their insertion in various bilayers
  • Study of the photochemical production of amphiphiles in this systems

Contact: Pierre-Alain Monnard

Project three DNA/Protocell: Replication of a DNA sequence
Nucleic acids have in theory the capacity of self-replicate. This property would be essential for the realization of a fully functional protocell. We envision a replication based on the ligation of small DNA oligomers on a DNA template attached to the container of the protocell.

  • Determination of the minimal length needed for each component
  • Ligation kinetic in aqueous medium or structured medium (see non-enzymatic RNA polymerization)
  • Investigation of the ligation reaction at the interface of the container (vesicle) or within reverse-micelles
  • Depending on the progress of our collaborators at LANL, implementation of the photochemical version of the ligation reaction

Contact: Pierre-Alain Monnard