Regulation of Membrane Protein Insertion in Artificial Bilayers Using DNA Origami

Our droplet hydrogel bilayer system is an artificial bilayer system for interrogating membrane proteins, but it also allows us to explore new forms of synthetic biology where we can add individual protein function to a droplet, such as touch sensitivity or light sensitivity.

Using a novel DNA origami structure we can protect and controllably release our blocking DNA structures, known as DNA caltrops, to regulate the insertion of membrane proteins into these droplets. This allows us to trigger each functionality, on demand, using a small DNA ligand which removes the DNA caltrop from the proteoliposome.

We are looking for Honours or PhD students who have an interest in DNA origami design, synthetic biology, and artificial cells to learn across the interface of engineering and biology.

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