1st Edition

The Giant Vesicle Book

ISBN 9781498752176
Published October 7, 2019 by CRC Press
676 Pages 67 Color & 172 B/W Illustrations

USD $249.95

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Book Description

Giant vesicles are widely used as a model membrane system, both for basic biological systems and for their promising applications in the development of smart materials and cell mimetics, as well as in driving new technologies in synthetic biology and for the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industry. The reader is guided to use giant vesicles, from the formation of simple membrane platforms to advanced membrane and cell system models. It also includes fundamentals for understanding lipid or polymer membrane structure, properties and behavior. Every chapter includes ideas for further applications and discussions on the implications of the observed phenomena towards understanding membrane-related processes. The Giant Vesicle Book is meant to be a road companion, a trusted guide for those making their first steps in this field as well as a source of information required by experts.

Key Features

• A complete summary of the field, covering fundamental concepts, practical methods, core theory, and the most promising applications

• A start-up package of theoretical and experimental information for newcomers in the field

• Extensive protocols for establishing the required preparations and assays

• Tips and instructions for carefully performing and interpreting measurements with giant vesicles or for observing them, including pitfalls

• Approaches developed for investigating giant vesicles as well as brief overviews of previous studies implementing the described techniques

• Handy tables with data and structures for ready reference

Table of Contents

Part I: The making of

Chapter 1 Preparation methods for giant unilamellar vesicles - Rumiana Dimova, Pasquale Stano, Carlos M. Marques and Peter Walde

Chapter 2 Preparation and properties of giant plasma membrane vesicles and giant unilamellar vesicles from natural membranes - Joseph H. Lorent and Ilya Levental

Chapter 3 Protein reconstitution in giant vesicles - Matthias Garten, Daniel Lévy and Patricia Bassereau 

Chapter 4 GUVs with cytoskeleton - Tobias Härtel and Petra Schwille

Part II: Giant vesicles theoretically and in silico

Chapter 5 Understanding giant vesicles – a theoretical perspective - Reinhard Lipowsky

Chapter 6 Simulating membranes, vesicles, and cells - Thorsten Auth, Dmitry A. Fedosov and Gerhard Gompper

Chapter 7 Theory of vesicle dynamics in flow and electric fields - Petia M. Vlahovska and Chaouqi Misbah

Chapter 8 Particle-membrane interactions - Jaime Agudo-Canalejo, Reinhard Lipowsky

Chapter 9 Theory of polymer-membrane interactions - Fabrice Thalmann and Carlos M. Marques

Part III: GUV-based techniques and what one can learn from them

Chapter 10 Application of optical microscopy techniques on giant unilamellar vesicles - Luis A. Bagatolli

Chapter 11 Mechanics assays of synthetic lipid membranes based on micropipette aspiration - Elisa Parra and David Needham

Chapter 12 Atomic force microscopy of giant unilamellar vesicles - Andreas Janshoff

Chapter 13 Manipulation and biophysical characterization of GUVs with an optical stretcher - Gheorghe Cojoc, Antoine Girot, Ulysse Delabre and Jochen Guck

Chapter 14 Vesicle fluctuation analysis - John Hjort Ipsen, Allan Grønhøj Hansen and Tripta Bhatia

Chapter 15 Using electric fields to assess membrane material properties in GUVs - Rumiana Dimova and  Karin A. Riske

Chapter 16 Creating membrane nanotubes from GUVs - Coline Prévost, Mijo Simunovic and Patricia Bassereau

Chapter 17 Measuring GUV adhesion - Kheya Sengupta and Ana Smith

Chapter 18 Phase diagrams and tie lines in GUVs - Matthew C. Blosser, Caitlin Cornell, Scott P. Rayermann and Sarah L. Keller

Chapter 19 Vesicle dynamics in flow: an experimental approach - Victor Steinberg and Michael Levant

Chapter 20 Membrane permeability measurements - Begoña Ugarte-Uribe, Ana J. García-Sáez and Mireille M. A. E. Claessens

Part IV: GUVs as membrane interaction platforms

Chapter 21 - Lipid and protein mobility in GUVs - Begoña Ugarte-Uribe, Kushal Kumar Das and Ana J. García-Sáez

Chapter 22 Shining light on membranes - Rosangela Itri, Carlos M. Marques and Mauricio S. Baptista

Chapter 23 Protein-membrane interactions - Eva M Schmid and Daniel A Fletcher

Chapter 24 Effects of antimicrobial peptides and detergents on GUVs - Karin A. Riske

Chapter 25 Lipid-polymer interactions: effect on GUVs shapes and behavior - Brigitte Pépin-Donat, François Quemeneur and Clément Campillo

Part V: GUVs as complex membrane containers

Chapter 26 Polymersomes - Praful Nair, David Christian and Dennis E. Discher

Chapter 27 Giant hybrid polymer/lipid vesicles - Thi Phuong Tuyen Dao, Khalid Ferji, Fabio Fernandes, Manuel Prieto, Sébastien Lecommandoux, Emmanuel Ibarboure, Olivier Sandre and Jean-François Le Meins

Chapter 28 Giant unilamellar vesicles: from protocell models to the construction of minimal cells - Masayuki Imai and Peter Walde

Chapter 29 Encapsulation of aqueous two-phase systems and gels within giant lipid vesicles - Allyson M. Marianelli and Christine D. Keating

Chapter 30 Droplet-supported giant lipid vesicles as compartments for synthetic biology - Johannes P. Frohnmayer, Marian Weiss, Lucia T. Benk, Jan-Willi Janiesch, Barbara Haller, Rafael B. Lira, Rumiana Dimova, Ilia Plazman and Joachim P. Spatz


Appendix 1 List of lipids and physical constants of lipid bilayers

Appendix 2 List of membrane dyes and fluorescent groups conjugated to lipids

Appendix 3 List of detergents

Appendix 4 List of water-soluble dyes or their fluorescent groups and their structures

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Rumiana Dimova leads an experimental lab in biophysics at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam, Germany. She has been working with giant vesicles already from the beginning of her scientific career. After being introduced into the magic of their preparation during her studies as a student in Bulgaria, she remained fascinated by their application and over the years pursued a variety of projects employing giant vesicles as a platform to develop new methods for the biophysical characterization of membranes and processes involving them. Until now, these studies have resulted in more than hundred peer-reviewed publications. Recently, she was also awarded the Emmy Noether distinction for women in physics of the European Physical Society.

Carlos Marques, a CNRS senior scientist, founded the MCube group at the Charles Sadron Institute in Strasbourg, France, where he gears experimental and theoretical research towards the understanding of the physical properties of self-assembled lipid bilayers. Trained as a polymer theoretician, Carlos first got interested in membranes because they interact with polymers and published the first prediction for the membrane changes expected when polymers adsorb on lipid bilayers. He then expanded the scope of his group to include experiments and numerical simulations, and has now published many papers based on research with giant unilamellar vesicles, including the first study of lipid oxidation in GUVs and the discovery of the so-called PVA method for vesicle growth.


"Giant vesicles are artificial membrane systems used in basic biological research, applied research on smart materials, and medical and pharmaceutical applications. This massive volume provides a collection of 30 review articles, each an independent chapter, on this important topic. Editors Dimova (Max Planck Institute) and Marques (French National Centre for Scientific Research) are experts in the field, and the contributors represent an international group, with the majority of authors hailing from European countries. The chapters cover a diverse array of topics, including biophysics, cell and molecular biology, and physical chemistry. Because biophysics is a consideration, many chapters feature detailed mathematical treatments. The early part of the book provides a good summary of the field and its fundamental concepts. The articles are well referenced, drawing from the primary literature, and most include citations up to 2018. The book is beautifully illustrated with nice figures and callout boxes that highlight important protocols—some parts of the book resemble an advanced textbook. Chapter 4 (on the cytoskeleton) and chapter 10 (on light microscopy) were particularly informative to this reviewer. Chapters 15 and 19 provide web links to videos illustrating important concepts in vesicle dynamics. Several appendixes on topics such as membrane dyes and detergents are included."
-J. Z. Kiss, UNC-Greensboro, in CHOICE November 2020

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