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Due to the variety of roles served by the cell membrane, its composition and structure are complex, making it difficult to study. Bioorthogonal reactions, such as the strain promoted azide-alkyne cycloaddition (SPAAC), are powerful tools for exploring the function of biomolecules in their native environment but have been largely unexplored within the context of lipid bilayers. Here, we developed a new approach to study the SPAAC reaction in liposomal membranes using azide- and strained alkyne-functionalized Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) dye pairs. This study represents the first characterization of the SPAAC reaction between diffusing molecules inside liposomal membranes. Potential applications of this work include in situ bioorthogonal labeling of membrane proteins, improved understanding of membrane dynamics and fluidity, and the generation of new probes for biosensing assays.

Original publication




Journal article


Angew Chem Int Ed Engl

Publication Date





FRET, SPAAC, bioconjugation, liposomes, molecular dynamics, Liposomes, Lipid Bilayers, Cycloaddition Reaction, Azides, Alkynes