Supramolecular biochemistry

Emergence and evolution of primitive membranes

Lipid membranes are an integral component of living cells, providing a permeability barrier that is essential for nutrient transport and energy production. Similar boundary structures were likely required for the origin of primitive cells. Our goal is to uncover the chemical principles that lead to primitive cells with essential life-like behaviours.

We are exploring how primitive membranes respond to a variety of environmental stimuli, in the effort to reveal some of the fundamental chemical principles that led to the origin of cellular life. Furthermore, we are studying how encapsulated chemical reactions could drive life-like behaviours, including membrane growth and division, and content mixing.