A microfluidic platform for the synthesis of polymer and polymer-protein-based protocells

Jessica Ann O’Callaghan, Neha P. Kamat, Kevin B. Vargo, Rajarshi Chattaraj, Daeyeon Lee, Daniel A. Hammer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract: In this study, we demonstrate the fabrication of polymersomes, protein-blended polymersomes, and polymeric microcapsules using droplet microfluidics. Polymersomes with uniform, single bilayers and controlled diameters are assembled from water-in-oil-in-water double-emulsion droplets. This technique relies on adjusting the interfacial energies of the droplet to completely separate the polymer-stabilized inner core from the oil shell. Protein-blended polymersomes are prepared by dissolving protein in the inner and outer phases of polymer-stabilized droplets. Cell-sized polymeric microcapsules are assembled by size reduction in the inner core through osmosis followed by evaporation of the middle phase. All methods are developed and validated using the same glass-capillary microfluidic apparatus. This integrative approach not only demonstrates the versatility of our setup, but also holds significant promise for standardizing and customizing the production of polymer-based artificial cells. Graphical Abstract: (Figure presented.)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number37
JournalEuropean Physical Journal E
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Surfaces and Interfaces


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