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ERIC Number: EJ1141968
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-May
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
iGUVs: Preparing Giant Unilamellar Vesicles with a Smartphone and Lipids Easily Extracted from Chicken Eggs
Almendro Vedia, Víctor G.; Natale, Paolo; Chen, Su; Monroy, Francisco; Rosilio, Veronique; López-Montero, Ivan
Journal of Chemical Education, v94 n5 p644-649 May 2017
Since the first report of electroformed micrometer-sized liposomes in the 1980s, giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) have generated a lot of interest in the biophysical and biochemical communities. However, their penetration rate in high school or at the undergraduate level is still limited because of the requirement of specialized materials for their fabrication. The main objective of this article is to translate the manufacture of these interesting microsystems from highly specialized research laboratories to general chemistry or biology laboratories with the help of everyday objects. Vesicles are made of lipids, which can easily be extracted from chicken eggs. Once obtained, the lipids can be reassembled to form giant vesicular structures in a sugar/aqueous medium by using a do-it-yourself electroformation device. For that, the homemade electroformation chamber is plugged into the audio output of a smartphone or a tablet, which generates audio signals with variable amplitude and frequency. These GUVs prepared with a smart device (iGUVs) are then resuspended into a salt solution for their visualization under a simple microscope. iGUVs bring the opportunity to teachers to stimulate scientific discussion from a wide variety of scientific disciplines such as colloidal chemistry, biophysical chemistry, statistics and cell biology.
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education; High Schools; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A