Antoni Llopis Lorente


Compartmentalization of chemicals separated from the external environment by a semi-permeable physical boundary (membrane) is a key hallmark for the origin of life. Lipid cellular membranes are essential for hosting vital processes and maintaining the integrity of living cells. At the same time, life is dynamic and requires cellular interaction with the environment and with other cells. My current research is focused on the construction and study of synthetic compartments that integrate both life-like structural features and functions. Following a bottom-up approach, synthetic compartments are fabricated at different length scales, ranging from the nano- to the microscale, using organic building blocks such as lipids and block copolymers. As in living systems, dynamic processes and functions in these synthetic vesicles can be regulated by enzymatic effectors giving rise to life-like behaviors. The engineering of these cell-mimicking compartments, capable of displaying stimuli-responsive interactions that result in the reversible modulation of physicochemical properties, holds interest in different areas reaching from the understanding of the origin of life to applications in biomedicine and materials chemistry.

Understanding how different building blocks can be self-assembled into cell-like functional compartments is an exciting scientific challenge.


Antoni Llopis Lorente obtained his five-year degree in Chemistry (cum laude, 2013) from University of Valencia (Spain), after completing a 9-month research internship at Imperial College London (UK, 2013) focused on the study of gold nanoparticles. Later, he did a master’s in Sensors for Molecular Recognition at Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV). In 2014, he was awarded a PhD fellowship from “La Caixa” Foundation for pursuing a PhD in Chemistry and Nanotechnology at UPV; and he defended his doctoral thesis (cum laude) on February 2019. During his PhD, he conducted research stays at different institutions: Complutense University of Madrid (1 month, 2015), Radboud University (6 months, 2017), and Institute of Bioengineering of Catalonia (1 month, 2017). Some of his most notable research contributions embrace the design of nanodevices for sensing (Chem. Eur. J., 2019, 25, 3575), drug delivery (ACS Nano 2019, 13, 12171) and chemical communication at the mesoscale (Nat. Commun., 2017, 8, 15511). Since September 2019, he is a postdoctoral scientist in the Bio-Organic Chemistry Group at Eindhoven Technical University.

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