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Sharma Vaibhav, Dynamics of Janus Colloids interacting with Giant Lipid Vesicles (2021)

Supervisors: Antonio Stocco and Carlos Marques

Interaction of a self-propelling artificial or biological entity, with cell membrane plays a crucial role in governing various important processes like microbial infections, drug delivery, and nanomaterial toxicity. In this thesis, the behaviour of self-propelling artificial Janus colloids in- and out-of thermal equilibrium conditions on encountering a Giant Unilamellar Vesicle was investigated. Also, the interaction dynamics for Janus colloids in active and passive conditions were observed by utilizing spontaneous and force driven interactions conditions. Centrifugations and Optical tweezer methods were employed to achieve activated engulfment which helped in gaining a deeper understanding on the factors that govern engulfment of a spherical colloid by GUV.
The rotation and translation diffusion for a Brownian Janus colloid near a single solid boundary as well as in spontaneous interaction with a GUV were investigated and the results were found in tune with the previous theoretical prediction. A striking orbital motion was observed when an active Janus colloid encountered a GUV in its path. Activated engulfment of spherical Janus/bare colloids, triggered by external force showed a severe confinement effect and significant slowing down in the rotational and translational diffusion of the colloids. The activity of a Janus colloid was also found to be severely hampered in engulfed conditions.

Keywords : Janus colloids, phospholipid, GUV, Optical Tweezers, self-propulsion, engulfment