Polymer chemists and materials scientists have achieved some notable advances that mimic nature, but one of the most common and practical features of cells has so far been out of reach – intracellular compartmentalization. It refers to the way many different organelles, vesicles and other “water-in-water” soft structures in the cell, contain and isolate chemical reactions and processes. It also lets reaction products be selectively shared with end users inside the cell.
Now a research team led by Thomas Russell at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, with postdoctoral researcher Ganhua Xie and others, describe in a new paper how they take advantage of differences in electrical charge to create an “all aqueous,” water-in-water construct that achieves compartmentalization in a synthetic system.
Read full article at the UMass News Office