Mechanical analyses of morphological and topological transformation of liposomes

H. Hotani, T. Inaba, F. Nomura, S. Takeda, K. Takiguchi, T. J. Itoh, T. Umeda, A. Ishijima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Liposomes are micro-compartments made of lipid bilayer membranes possessing the characteristics quite similar to those of biological membranes. To form artificial cell-like structures, we made liposomes that contained subunit proteins of cytoskeletons: tubulin or actin. Spherical liposomes were transformed into bipolar or cell-like shapes by mechanical forces generated by the polymerization of encapsulated subunits of microtubules. On the other hand, disk- or dumbbell-shaped liposomes were developed by the polymerization of encapsulated actin. Dynamic processes of morphological transformations of liposomes were visualized by high intensity dark-field light microscopy. Topological changes, such as fusion and division of membrane vesicles, play an essential role in cellular activities. To investigate the mechanism of these processes, we visualized the liposomes undergoing topological transformation in real time. A variety of novel topological transformations were found, including the opening-up of liposomes and the direct expulsion of inner vesicles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-100
Number of pages8
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Actin
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Liposome
  • Microtubule
  • Topology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Applied Mathematics


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