Membraneless multi-compartmentalization in synthetic cells

This project aims to endow membranous vesicles with a desired number of distinct, functional membraneless organelles. You will first recombinantly produce a library of fluorescent elastin-like polypeptides (ELPs) which are capable of forming coacervate droplets through a process called liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS). Then, using advanced on-chip microfluidics, you will encapsulate these fluorescent protein mixtures inside cell-sized liposomes and trigger the formation of multiple synthetic membraneless organelles (MOs). Ultimately, the idea of this project is to harbor (enzymatic) reactions inside these MOs to control complex (bio-)chemical reaction pathways inside and to make the first steps towards real synthetic cells.


Interested? We are looking for an enthusiastic biotechnology or molecular life science master student for this ambitious thesis project. This project is a collaboration between the protein materials ( and EmBioSys lab ( at the department of physical chemistry and soft matter (PCC).

Techniques: recombinant protein purification in E.coli, fluorescence bioconjugation, fluorescent (confocal) microscopy, microfluidic chip design