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Particle uptake in giant vesicles

Background: Due to the complexity of the phagocytic uptake mechanism, the different forces involved in this process are only partly understood. Therefore the usage of a GUV as the simplest biomimetic model for a cell allows to investigate the influence of the lipid membrane on the energetics of the uptake process.
Problem: Despite various theoretical models and experiments describing the stretching and bending of lipid bilayers, the required forces and energies for the uptake into a biomimetic cells are unknown.
Approach: We use 3D optical trapping and tracking to induce the phagocytic uptake of a 1 µm bead into a GUV. We measure both uptake forces and energies, which agree well with the results of our mathematical model. The complexity of the biomimetic cell can be increased stepwise by adding various biochemical components to the membrane.

Optical force controlled uptake of a particle into a fluorescent GUV



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