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A facile route to hierarchically organized multicompartmentalized proteinosomes based on a recursive Pickering emulsion procedure using amphiphilic protein–polymer nanoconjugate building blocks is described. The number of incarcerated guest proteinosomes within a single host proteinosome is controlled, and enzymes and genetic polymers encapsulated within targeted subcompartments to produce chemically organized multi-tiered structures. Three types of spatiotemporal response—retarded concomitant release, synchronous release or hierarchical release of dextran and DNA—are demonstrated based on the sequential response of the host and guest membranes to attack by protease, or through variations in the positioning of disulfide-containing cross-links in either the host or guest proteinosomes integrated into the nested architectures. Overall, our studies provide a step towards the construction of hierarchically structured synthetic protocells with chemically and spatially integrated proto-organelles.
- hierarchical structures