Barcoding Biological Reactions with DNA-Functionalized Vesicles

Justin A. Peruzzi, Miranda L. Jacobs, Timothy Q. Vu, Kenneth S. Wang, Neha P. Kamat*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Targeted vesicle fusion is a promising approach to selectively control interactions between vesicle compartments and would enable the initiation of biological reactions in complex aqueous environments. Here, we explore how two features of vesicle membranes, DNA tethers and phase-segregated membranes, promote fusion between specific vesicle populations. Membrane phase-segregation provides an energetic driver for membrane fusion that increases the efficiency of DNA-mediated fusion events. The orthogonality provided by DNA tethers allows us to direct fusion and delivery of DNA cargo to specific vesicle populations. Vesicle fusion between DNA-tethered vesicles can be used to initiate in vitro protein expression to produce model soluble and membrane proteins. Engineering orthogonal fusion events between DNA-tethered vesicles provides a new strategy to control the spatiotemporal dynamics of cell-free reactions, expanding opportunities to engineer artificial cellular systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18683-18690
Number of pages8
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number51
StatePublished - Dec 16 2019


  • artificial cell
  • biophysics
  • cell-free reactions
  • membrane fusion
  • vesicles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Catalysis


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