Light-Driven Biocatalysis in Liposomes and Polymersomes: Where Are We Now?

Wang G, Castiglione K (2019)

Publication Language: English

Publication Type: Journal article, Review article

Publication year: 2019


Book Volume: 9

Journal Issue: 1

DOI: 10.3390/catal9010012

Open Access Link:


The utilization of light energy to power organic-chemical transformations is a fundamental
strategy of the terrestrial energy cycle. Inspired by the elegance of natural photosynthesis,
much interdisciplinary research effort has been devoted to the construction of simplified cell
mimics based on artificial vesicles to provide a novel tool for biocatalytic cascade reactions with
energy-demanding steps. By inserting natural or even artificial photosynthetic systems into liposomes
or polymersomes, the light-driven proton translocation and the resulting formation of electrochemical
gradients have become possible. This is the basis for the conversion of photonic into chemical energy
in form of energy-rich molecules such as adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which can be further utilized
by energy-dependent biocatalytic reactions, e.g., carbon fixation. This review compares liposomes and
polymersomes as artificial compartments and summarizes the types of light-driven proton pumps
that have been employed in artificial photosynthesis so far. We give an overview over the methods
affecting the orientation of the photosystems within the membranes to ensure a unidirectional
transport of molecules and highlight recent examples of light-driven biocatalysis in artificial vesicles.
Finally, we summarize the current achievements and discuss the next steps needed for the transition
of this technology from the proof-of-concept status to preparative applications.

Authors with CRIS profile

How to cite


Wang, G., & Castiglione, K. (2019). Light-Driven Biocatalysis in Liposomes and Polymersomes: Where Are We Now? Catalysts, 9(1).


Wang, Guoshu, and Kathrin Castiglione. "Light-Driven Biocatalysis in Liposomes and Polymersomes: Where Are We Now?" Catalysts 9.1 (2019).

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