Janus dendrimersomes coassembled from fluorinated, hydrogenated, and hybrid Janus dendrimers as models for cell fusion and fission [Chemistry]
A three-component system of Janus dendrimers (JDs) including hydrogenated, fluorinated, and hybrid hydrogenated–fluorinated JDs are reported to coassemble by film hydration at specific ratios into an unprecedented class of supramolecular Janus particles (JPs) denoted Janus dendrimersomes (JDSs). They consist of a dumbbell-shaped structure composed of an onion-like hydrogenated vesicle and an onion-like fluorinated vesicle tethered together. The synthesis of dye-tagged analogs of each JD component enabled characterization of JDS architectures with confocal fluorescence microscopy. Additionally, a simple injection method was used to prepare submicron JDSs, which were imaged with cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM). As reported previously, different ratios of the same three-component system yielded a variety of structures including homogenous onion-like vesicles, core-shell structures, and completely self-sorted hydrogenated and fluorinated vesicles. Taken together with the JDSs reported herein, a self-sorting pathway is revealed as a function of the relative concentration of the hybrid JD, which may serve to stabilize the interface between hydrogenated and fluorinated bilayers. The fission-like pathway suggests the possibility of fusion and fission processes in biological systems that do not require the assistance of proteins but instead may result from alterations in the ratios of membrane composition.
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