• Godino, E.,* Restrepo Sierra, A. M.,* C. Danelon. Imaging flow cytometry for high-throughput phenotyping of synthetic cells. ACS Synthetic Biology. 2023 Jul 21; 12:2015. (PDF). *Equal contribution
  • Abil, Z.,* Restrepo Sierra, A. M.,* C. Danelon. Clonal amplification-enhanced gene expression in synthetic vesicles. ACS Synthetic Biology. 2023, Apr 21; 12:1187. (PDF). *Equal contribution
  • Godino, E., C. Danelon. Gene-directed FtsZ ring assembly generates constricted liposomes with stable membrane necks. Advanced Biology. 2023, 7:2200172 (PDF).
  • Godino, E., A. Doerr, C. Danelon. Min waves without MinC can pattern FtsA-anchored FtsZ filaments on model membranes. Communications Biology. 2022 Jul 7;5:675. (PDF) (bioRxiv).
  • E. Godino, J. Noguera López, I. Zarguit, A. Doerr, M. Jimenez, G. Rivas, and C. Danelon, Cell-free biogenesis of bacterial division proto-rings that can constrict liposomesCommunications Biology. 2020 Sep 30;3:539. (PDF) (preprint)
  • Isozaki et al., Intelligent Image-Activated Cell Sorting 2.0. Lab Chip Online ahead of print (2020).
    In this work led by Prof. Goda, our lab contributed the ultrafast imaging of liposomes with the IACS2.0 technology.
  • Godino E, López JN, Foschepoth D, Cleij C, Doerr A, Castellà CF, Danelon C. De novo synthesized Min proteins drive oscillatory liposome deformation and regulate FtsA-FtsZ cytoskeletal patterns. Nat Commun. 2019 Oct 31;10(1):4969. (link)
  • Alicia Soler Cantón, Niels van den Broek, Christophe Danelon. Development of a lipid-based delivery system for the chemotherapeutic compound SN-38
  • Blanken D, van Nies P, Danelon C. Quantitative imaging of gene-expressing liposomes reveals rare favorable phenotypes. Phys Biol. 2019 Apr 12;16(4):045002. (link)

  • Doerr A, de Reus E, van Nies P, van der Haar M, Wei K, Kattan J, Wahl A, Danelon C. Modelling cell-free RNA and protein synthesis with minimal systems. Phys Biol. 2019 Jan 9;16(2):025001. (link)

  • Pauline van Nies, Ilja Westerlaken, Duco Blanken, Margarita Salas, Mario Mencia and Christophe Danelon. Self-replication of DNA by its encoded proteins in liposome-based synthetic cells. Nature Communications 2018 (link).


  • Fabrizio Anella and Christophe Danelon. Prebiotic factors influencing the activity of a ligase ribozyme. Life 2017 Apr 6;7(2). pii: E17. doi: 10.3390/life7020017, Special issue on the “Origin of Cellular Life”. (Full-text)


  • Andrew Scott, Marek J. Noga, Paul de Graaf, Ilja Westerlaken, Esengul Yildirim and Christophe Danelon. Cell-free phospholipid biosynthesis by gene-encoded enzymes reconstituted in liposomes. PLoS One. 2016 Oct 6;11(10):e0163058. (PDF)(HTML)


All cells are surrounded by a membrane, a framework of fat-based molecules called phospholipids, which physically prevent water-loving substances from entering or escaping the cell. By using phospholipid vesicles to mimic the cell membrane and a purified gene expression system as the protein factory to generate specialized enzymes, we have reconstructed in vitro the key biochemical steps to synthesize phospholipids from a DNA program and simple precursors. This work represents a milestone toward the creation of an autonomous synthetic cell capable to produce its own membrane constituents.

  • Nadya Chakrova, Alicia Soler Canton, Christophe Danelon, Sjoerd Stallinga, and Bernd Rieger. Adaptive illumination reduces photobleaching in structured illumination microscopyBiomed. Opt. Express 7(10), 4263-4274 (2016).

SIM_HEK cells

Our lab contributed sample preparation for adaptive SIM imaging of the nuclei of cultured HEK cells.

  • Anella, F., and C. Danelon. Reconciling Ligase Ribozyme Activity With Fatty Acid Vesicle StabilityLife 4 (4): 929-943, Dec. 2014.


Here, we studied the interplay between fatty acid vesicle integrity, spontaneous RNA cleavage and the activity of a ligase ribozyme with respect to Mg2+ concentration. We found that the ribozyme is tolerant to low Mg2+ concentration compatible with vesicle self-assembly and improved RNA strand stability.
  • van Nies, P., A. Soler Canton, Z. Nourian, and C. Danelon. Monitoring mRNA and Protein Levels in Bulk and in Model Vesicle-Based Artificial Cells. Methods in Enzymology 550:187-214, Jan. 2015.


We report on a Spinach aptamer with improved stability to accurately monitor the kinetics of mRNA production in a cell-free transcription-translation system. The dynamics of mRNA and protein synthesis was quantitatively analysed and details on the experimental procedure are provided.

  • Nourian, Z., Scott A., and C. Danelon. Toward the Assembly of a Minimal DivisomeSystems and Synthetic Biology 8 (3): 237-247, Sep. 2014.

We provide a personal perspective on the reconstitution of a division machinery into lipid vesicles. Moreover, we present the first example of liposome membrane deformation by proteins synthesized in situ from a DNA template.
  • van Nies, P., Z. Nourian, M. Kok, R. van Wijk, J. Moeskops, I. Westerlaken, J. M. Poolman, R. Eelkema, J. H. van Esch, Y. Kuruma, T. Ueda, and C. Danelon. Unbiased Tracking of the Progression of mRNA and Protein Synthesis in Bulk and inside Lipid Vesicles. ChemBioChem14 (15): 1963-1966, Oct. 2013.

    Highlighted in Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2013, 52, 11448.

  • Nourian, Z., and C. Danelon. Linking Genotype and Phenotype in Protein Synthesizing Liposomes with External Supply of Resources. ACS Synthetic Biology, 2 (4): 186-193, Jan. 2013.

Illustration by Alex de Mulder

  • Nourian, Z., W. Roelofsen, and C. Danelon. Triggered Gene Expression in Fed-Vesicle Microreactors with a Multifunctional Membrane. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 51 (13): 3114-3118, Mar. 2012. (pdf) View full article with supporting information (HTML)

Press & Popular science articles

  • Our lab has recently been featured in the Dutch newspaper DE TELEGRAAF (zaterdag 20 september 2014).

  • For an accessible review on The Emergence of Cellular Life see our article in the TU Delft magazine De Physicus, January 2013, 28-30. (pdf)