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Emergent chemical behavior in variable-volume protocells

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dc.contributor.author Shirt-Ediss, Ben
dc.contributor.author Solé Vicente, Ricard, 1962-
dc.contributor.author Ruíz-Mirazo, Kepa
dc.date.accessioned 2016-01-27T14:41:50Z
dc.date.available 2016-01-27T14:41:50Z
dc.date.issued 2015
dc.identifier.citation Shirt-Ediss B, Solé RV, Ruiz-Mirazo K. Emergent chemical behavior in variable-volume protocells. Life. 2015;5(1):181-211. DOI: 10.3390/life5010181
dc.identifier.issn 2075-1729
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10230/25667
dc.description.abstract Artificial protocellular compartments and lipid vesicles have been used as model systems to understand the origins and requirements for early cells, as well as to design encapsulated reactors for biotechnology. One prominent feature of vesicles is the semi-permeable nature of their membranes, able to support passive diffusion of individual solute species into/out of the compartment, in addition to an osmotic water flow in the opposite direction to the net solute concentration gradient. Crucially, this water flow affects the internal aqueous volume of the vesicle in response to osmotic imbalances, in particular those created by ongoing reactions within the system. In this theoretical study, we pay attention to this often overlooked aspect and show, via the use of a simple semi-spatial vesicle reactor model, that a changing solvent volume introduces interesting non-linearities into an encapsulated chemistry. Focusing on bistability, we demonstrate how a changing volume compartment can degenerate existing bistable reactions, but also promote emergent bistability from very simple reactions, which are not bistable in bulk conditions. One particularly remarkable effect is that two or more chemically-independent reactions, with mutually exclusive reaction kinetics, are able to couple their dynamics through the variation of solvent volume inside the vesicle. Our results suggest that other chemical innovations should be expected when more realistic and active properties of protocellular compartments are taken into account.
dc.description.sponsorship This work was supported by the Botin Foundation and by the Santa Fe Institute, and Kepa Ruiz-Mirazo acknowledges financial support from the Basque Government (IT 590-13), Spanish Ministry of Economía y Competitividad (FFI2011-25665) and European COST Actions CM1304 and TD1308.
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher MPDI
dc.relation.ispartof Life. 2015;5(1):181-211
dc.rights © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
dc.subject.other Osmosi
dc.title Emergent chemical behavior in variable-volume protocells
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
dc.identifier.doi http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/life5010181
dc.subject.keyword Semi-permeable compartments
dc.subject.keyword Osmosis
dc.subject.keyword Variable solvent volume
dc.subject.keyword Mass action
dc.subject.keyword Kinetics (MAK)
dc.subject.keyword Chemical reactor
dc.subject.keyword Continuous-flow stirred tank reactor (CSTR)
dc.subject.keyword Bistability
dc.subject.keyword Systems chemistry
dc.subject.keyword Osmotic coupling
dc.relation.projectID info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/ES/3PN/FFI2011-25665
dc.rights.accessRights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
dc.type.version info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion

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