Engineering Advanced Capsosomes: Maximizing the Number of Subcompartments, Cargo Retention, and Temperature-Triggered Reaction

Rona Chandrawati, Leticia Hosta Rigau, Dirk Vanderstraaten, Shalitha A. Lokuliyana, Brigitte Stadler, Fernando Albericio, Frank Caruso

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Advanced mimics of cells require a large yet controllable number of subcompartments encapsulated within a scaffold, equipped with a trigger to initiate, terminate, and potentially restart an enzymatic reaction. Recently introduced capsosomes, polymer capsules containing thousands of liposomes, are a promising platform for the creation of artificial cells. Capsosomes are formed by sequentially layering liposomes and polymers onto particle templates, followed by removal of the template cores. Herein, we engineer advanced capsosomes and demonstrate the ability to control the number of subcompartments and hence the degree of cargo loading. To achieve this, we employ a range of polymer separation layers and liposomes to form functional capsosomes comprising multiple layers of enzyme-loaded liposomes. Differences in conversion rates of an enzymatic assay are used to verify that multilayers of intact enzyme-loaded liposomes are assembled within a polymer hydrogel capsule. The size-dependent retention of the cargo encapsulated within the liposomal subcompartments during capsosome assembly and its dependence on environmental pH changes are also examined. We further show that temperature can be used to trigger an enzymatic reaction at the phase transition temperature of the liposomal subcompartments, and that the encapsulated enzymes can be utilized repeatedly in several subsequent conversions. These engineered capsosomes with tailored properties present new opportunities en route to the development of functional artificial cells.
Original languageEnglish
JournalA C S Nano
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)1351-1361
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Capsosome
  • Liposome multilayers
  • Cargo retention
  • Temperature-trigger


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