Ms. Yishu Bao


Intracellular protein delivery suffers from poor cellular membrane permeability, limiting their access to intracellular targets. Current strategies to tackle these issues normally apply nanoscale carriers1. Here we report pyrene(py)-based molecules that form fluorescent photo-responsive coacervate microdroplets by liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) that can cross the cell membrane. A wide range of macromolecules, such as peptides, proteins from 14kDa to 430kDa, and antibodies can be efficiently recruited. The cargo-loaded coacervates are taken up by various cell lines, including cancer cells and normal cells, and achieve photo-triggered cargo release in the cytosol. This photo-responsive phase-separating molecule potentially opens new avenues for intracellular delivery of macromolecules and achievement of temporal and spatial regulation.


Scaletti, F.; Hardie, J.; Lee, Y. W.; Luther, D. C.; Ray, M.; Rotello, V. M. Chem. Soc. Rev. 2018, 47, 34213432.

University: CUHK

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