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SCELSE Seminar Series: The medium is the message: How compartments, vesicles, cells communicate

Date:    Wednesday, 21 Feb 2024
Time:   4pm-5pm
Venue: NTU School of Biological Sciences Classroom 1 (SBS-01N-33)

A part pulp fiction (Remember, Travolta?) and a part personal itinerary, this talk considers how the medium – which bathes the cells, vesicles, and droplets – shapes communications and tailors phenotypes. We will explore three vignettes: (1) how osmotic activities of water shape synthetic vesicles, (2) roles EPS play in the biofilm biogenesis, and (3) how compartmentalisation and the discretisation of the medium itself can provide a robust strategy to buffer stochastic fluctuations and engineer ultrasensitive biosensors – a major goal for the IDMxS. Together, these experiences echo the notion that water is not a mere solvent for life – a blank canvas on which biomolecules become animated – but an active medium that directs the molecular-level organisation and dynamics in complex, subtle, yet essential ways.


(1) Biomedical Engineering, University of California, Davis, USA,
(2) Institute for Digital Molecular Analytics & Science (IDMxS),
(3) Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering (SCELSE)

SCELSE Seminar Series