On-chip reconstitution of an FtsZ-based divisome for synthetic cells

Federico Fanalista

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

88 Downloads (Pure)


Cell replication is a fascinating biological process that ensures the proliferation of a species via division of a mother cell into two daughter ones. This process in bacteria is performed by a complex protein machinery named the Z-ring, which assembles at the cell mid-plane and promotes progressive membrane constriction down to division. A central element of this machinery is FtsZ, a protein that polymerizes into filaments that constitute the main scaffold of the ring. Even though this protein was found to be essential, many aspects concerning the Z-ring assembly, the role of FtsZ-associated proteins, and the contribution of FtsZ to the constricting force in the division process are not yet clearly determined. To address these questions, in this thesis we aimed to reconstitute a minimal divisome in vitro, in order to isolate single components from the complex cellular environment, and study their functionality in a bottom-up way. Following this approach, we aimed to better understand the dynamics and the parameters involved in FtsZ filament association into bundles, and to verify whether such structures are capable to generate a force on the lipid membrane.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Dekker, C., Supervisor
Award date21 Feb 2020
Print ISBNs978-90-8593-433-2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • FtsZ
  • synthetic cell
  • microfluidics
  • bottom-up biology


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