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Shaping Membrane Vesicles by Adsorption of a Semiflexible Polymer

Computer rendering of cells.

Steve Abel’s research group has discovered that polymer adsorption on membrane vesicles can significantly impact both polymer and vesicle shapes, with some emergent configurations resembling the budding of viruses from cell membranes.

This work, published in Soft Matter, is a step toward designing macromolecules to probe and actuate membranes.