UCARE: Undergraduate Creative Activities & Research Experiences


Date of this Version


Document Type



Poster presentation, UCARE Research Fair, Spring 2020, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright 2020 by the authors


Many organisms rely on the precise growth, assembly, and/or organization of inorganic crystals to achieve vital functions, for example, three-dimensional structural support (i.e., skeletal systems based on calcite) or environmental sensing (i.e., magnetosomes based on magnetite). Mimicking the production of the complex products observed in these biomineralization processes, synthetically, remains challenging. Herein, a method for the synthesis of artificial magnetosomes with programmable magnetic domains was developed. Specifically, precursors were compartmentalized inside different surfactant-stabilized aqueous-phase droplets suspended in oil and microfluidic technologies were implemented to control their interactions precisely. When reactive droplets were brought into contact with one another, a lipid bilayer formed, allowing transport of reagents between droplets. This process led to interface-confined magnetite growth. These polarized magnetic domains were used to manipulate the synthetic magnetosomes using external magnetic fields, thus providing a convenient method for droplet manipulation and transport. This method of producing synthetic magnetosomes provides a route toward useful materials with applications in areas such as drug delivery and microfluidics.