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Cell-sized lipid vesicles for cell-cell synaptic therapies.


Cell-sized lipid vesicles (CLVs) have shown great promise for therapeutic and artificial cell applications, but their fragility and short shelf life has hindered widespread adoption and commercial viability. We present a method to circumvent the storage limitations of CLVs such as giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) and single-compartment multisomes (SCMs) by storing them in a double emulsion precursor form. The double emulsions can be stored for at least 8 months and readily converted into either GUVs or SCMs at any time. In this study, we investigate the interfacial parameters responsible for this morphological change, and we also demonstrate the therapeutic potential of CLVs by utilizing them to present a transmembrane protein, neuroligin-2, to pancreatic β-cells, forming cell-cell synapses that stimulate insulin secretion and cellular growth.

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