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Asymmetric Division of Polarized Artificial Cell Image 1
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Asymmetric Division of Polarized Artificial Cell (Image 1)

May 10, 2012
symmetric division of a polarized artificial cell results in daughter cells that differ in their membrane and interior compositions. The scale bar indicates 10 microns. In this asymmetric division of a primitive model cell, the cell is composed of a lipid membrane that encapsulates a polymer solution. Two coexisting lipid membrane phase domains are labeled red and green, and a protein that concentrates into the dextran-rich aqueous phase domain is labeled blue. Sucrose was added from left to right to draw water out of the vesicle by osmosis. After the division event, one of the daughter vesicles contains only red membrane and encapsulates the dextran-rich aqueous phase along with most of the protein molecules, while the other vesicle inherits both red and green membrane encapsulating the PEG-rich aqueous phase. The scale bar indicates 10 microns. Credit: Meghan Andes-Koback and Christine Keating, Chemistry Department, Penn State University