In this report we review the possibilities of using colloids with surface mobile linkers for the study of colloidal self-assembly processes. A promising route to create systems with mobile linkers is the use of lipid (bi-) layers. These lipid layers can be either used in the form of vesicles or as coatings for hard colloids and emulsion droplets. Inside the lipid bilayers molecules can be inserted via membrane anchors. Due to the fluidity of the lipid bilayer, the anchored molecules remain mobile. The use of different lipid mixtures even allows creating Janus-like particles that exhibit directional bonding if linkers are used which have a preference for a certain lipid phase. In nature mobile linkers can be found e.g. as receptors in cells. Therefore, towards the end of the review, we also briefly address the possibility of using colloids with surface mobile linkers as model systems to mimic cell-cell interactions and cell adhesion processes.

J. Phys.: Condens. Matter

van der Meulen, S, Helms, G, & Dogterom, M. (2015). Solid colloids with surface-mobile linkers. J. Phys.: Condens. Matter, 27(23, Article number: 233101). doi:10.1088/0953-8984/27/23/233101