Neha Kamat

Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Biomedical Engineering
Interdisciplinary Biological Sciences Program

Office Phone: 847.467.2671
Kamat Lab


Cell membranes define the boundary of the smallest unit of life, the cell. These membranes dictate a variety of sensing and signaling processes that drive cellular behaviors. We build models of cellular membranes using a variety of natural and non-natural amphiphiles like phospholipids, fatty acids, and diblock copolymers. Using these models, we study how membrane composition affects the biophysical properties of membranes and how emergent behaviors arise from mixtures of amphiphiles and genetic polymers.

Our overall research objective in membrane biophysics is to advance basic understanding of how cells sense physical forces. We are approaching this question by (i) developing optical probes to measure cell membrane tension and (ii) studying how membrane composition and macroscopic mechanical properties can affect the activity of mechanosensitive channel proteins. Research in these areas allows us to work extensively in membrane biophysical characterization, interfacial phenomena, polymer and lipid vesicle systems, microfluidic soft matter fabrication, and surface characterization techniques.

Selected Publications

  1. N-Carboxyanhydride-Mediated Fatty Acylation of Amino Acids and Peptides for Functionalization of Protocell Membranes. Izgu EC, Björkbom A, Kamat NP, Lelyveld VS, Zhang W, Jia TZ, and Szostak JW. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 2016 December 28;138(51):16669-16676
  2. Electrostatic Localization of RNA to Protocell Membranes by Cationic Hydrophobic PeptidesKamat NP, Tobé S, Hill IT, and Szostak JW. Angewandte Chemie. 2015 September 28;54(40):11735-11739.
  3. Construction of a liposome dialyzer for the preparation of high-value, small-volume liposome formulations. Adamala K, Engelhart AE, Kamat NP, Jin L, and Szostak JW. Nature Protocols. 2015 June;10(6):927-938.
  4. Single-Vesicle Patterning of Uniform, Giant Polymersomes into MicroarraysKamat NP, Henry SJ, Lee D, and Hammer DA. Small. 2013 July 8;9(13):2272-2276.
  5. Sensing membrane stress with near IR-emissive porphyrinsKamat NP, Liao Z, Moses LE, Rawson J, Therien MJ, Dmochowski IJ, and Hammer DA. PNAS. 2011 August 23;108(34):13984-13989.
  6. Engineering Polymersome ProtocellsKamat NP, Katz JS, and Hammer DA. Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. 2011 July 7;2(13):1612-1623.


Recent Photos

July 24, 2017