Since more than a decade now, giant vesicles are objects that fascinate and, at times,
surprise us. These giants are only a few tens of microns in size and this defines
their unique property: they are visible under a light microscope and provide a handy
biomimetic tool for displaying directly the response of the membrane on the cell-size
scale. Our group employs them for systematic measurements of the properties of lipid
bilayers as a function of membrane composition and phase state, surrounding media,
and temperature. We also investigate membrane responses to external factors such
as ions, amphiphilic (biomacro)molecules and polymers, membrane-wetting aqueous phases,
hydrodynamic flows or electromagnetic fields. The objectives of our group are to
understand fundamental cellular phenomena and morphologies of cell organelles as
well as to identify general mechanisms underlying cellular processes.
…And apart from being focused on our work, we also have fun.
• GM1 softens POPC membranes and induces the formation of micron-sized domains, Fricke
& Dimova, Biophys. J. 111:1935 (2016) DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2016.09.028