Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Vol.561, 318-326, 2020
Enhancing membrane modulus of giant unilamellar lipid vesicles by lateral co-assembly of amphiphilic triblock copolymers
We report a facile, but robust approach to fabricate structurally stable giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs), on which a 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC) bilayer membrane was made rigid by introducing amphiphilic block polymers. Particularly, we found that lateral co-assembly of an amphiphilic triblock copolymer (ATC) structured with a hydrophobic middle block and long molecular weight (20 K g/mol) hydrophilic end blocks remarkably enhanced the stretching modulus (k) of GUVs. When the membrane composition was optimized, the k value of ATC-hybridized GUVs increased to 6.2 x 10(8) Pa, which was approximately 10-fold higher than that of DPPC GUVs, thus leading to a much longer half-life. Moreover, we demonstrated that our ATC-hybridized GUVs enabled development of a fascinating vesicular model, which shows great potential as a structurally stable cell membrane mimic. (C) 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.