Friedrich Simmel und Aurore Dupin, researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), have for the first time created artificial cell assemblies that can communicate with each other. The cells, separated by fatty membranes, exchange small chemical signaling molecules to trigger more complex reactions, such as the production of RNA and other proteins.
Scientists around the world are working on creating artificial, cell-like systems that mimic the behavior of living organisms. Friedrich Simmel and Aurore Dupin have now for the first time created such artificial cell assemblies in a fixed spatial arrangement. The highlight is that the cells are able to communicate with each other.
“Our system is a first step towards tissue-like, synthetic biological materials that exhibit complex spatial and temporal behavior in which individual cells specialize and differentiate themselves, not unlike biological organisms,” explains Friedrich Simmel, Professor of Physics of Synthetic Biosystems (E14) at TU Munich.
GENE EXPRESSION IN A FIXED STRUCTURE
Gels or emulsion droplets encapsulated in thin fat or polymer membranes serve as the basic building blocks for the artificial cells. Inside these 10 to 100 micron sized units, chemical and biochemical reactions can proceed uninhibited.
The research team used droplets enclosed by lipid membranes and assembled them into artificial multicellular structures called “micro-tissues”. The biochemical reaction solutions used in the droplets can produce RNA and proteins, giving the cells a of a kind of gene expression ability.
SIGNAL EXCHANGE AND SPATIAL DIFFERENTIATION OF CELLS
But that’s not all: Small “signal molecules” can be exchanged between cells via their membranes or protein channels built into the membranes. This allows them to temporally and spatially couple with each other. The systems thus become dynamic – as in real life.
Chemical pulses thus propagate through the cell structures and pass on information. The signals can also act as triggers, allowing initially identical cells to develop differently. “Our system is the first example of a multicellular system in which artificial cells with gene expression have a fixed arrangement and are coupled via chemical signals. In this way, we achieved a form of spatial differentiation, “says Simmel.
MODELS, MINI FACTORIES AND MICROSENSORS
Developing these kinds of synthetic systems is important since they allow scientists to investigate fundamental questions about the origins of life in a model. Complex organisms became possible only after cells began specializing and distributing work between cooperating cells. How this came about is among the most fascinating questions in basic research.
Using a modular construction kit of tailor-made cell systems, the researchers hope to simulate various properties of biological systems in the future. The idea is that cells react to their environment and learn to act independently.
The first applications are already on the horizon: In the long term, artificial cell assemblies can be deployed as mini-factories to produce specific biomolecules, or as tiny micro-robot sensors that process information and adapt to their environments.
CELLS FROM A 3-D PRINTER
Friedrich Simmel and Aurore Dupin still assemble their cell systems manually using micromanipulators. In the future, however, they plan to cooperate with the Munich University of Applied Sciences, for example, to systematically build larger and more lifelike systems using 3-D printing technology.
The Latest on: Artificial cells
via Google News
The Latest on: Artificial cells
- Amorepacific Develops an Original Technology That Reverses the Aging of Skin Cells in Joint Research with KAISTon November 26, 2020 at 11:12 pm
Amorepacific R&D Center, together with KAIST, developed an original technology that reverses the aging process in human dermal fibroblasts. The system’s biology research was conducted in collaboration ...
- Researchers develop artificial kidney to replace dialysis for patientson November 26, 2020 at 9:48 pm
Researchers are developing an artificial kidney that may give patients an opportunity for a dialysis-free life.
- 3D Cell Culture Market, 2026 - Increasing Usage in Diagnostic Centers, Hospitals, Pharmaceutical, and Biotech Companieson November 26, 2020 at 2:00 am
The "3D Cell Culture Market by Product, by Application, by End-User, by Geography - Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast up ...
- Global 3D Cell Culture Industryon November 25, 2020 at 6:40 am
The global market for 3D Cell Culture is projected to reach US$2.3 billion by the year 2027, trailing a post COVID-19 CAGR of 13.7% over the analysis period 2020 through 2027. A 3D-Cell Culture is an ...
- MESOPHDIO breaking down the bottleneck of cancer cells recognition by artificial intelligence technologyon November 24, 2020 at 7:23 pm
The changing landscape of digital medical imaging solutions is enabled by artificial intelligence (AI) technology. And the new challenges in the fast changing development of Bioinformatics, or called ...
- Health Beat: Artificial kidney replaces dialysison November 24, 2020 at 12:32 pm
More than 740,000 Americans have kidney failure. Out of those, about 200,000 are eligible for a kidney transplant. That means more than 500,000 Americans have no other option besides being ...
- Dry Eye Product Industry in Europe to 2027 - Adoption in Stem Cell Therapy Presents Opportunities - ResearchAndMarkets.comon November 24, 2020 at 2:11 am
The Europe Dry Eye Product market is expected to reach US$ 2631.70 million by 2027 from US$ 1868.93 million in 2019. The market is estimated to grow with a CAGR of 4.6% from 2020 ...
- Robust Investment in Healthcare to Drive the Global Regenerative Artificial Skin Market | Latest CMI Insights 2026on November 23, 2020 at 11:54 pm
Regenerative Artificial Skin Market. Incidence of accidental skin burns are increasing across the globe. Life-threatening skin injuries, traumas, and burns require immediate surgi ...
- Duke researchers use stem cell models to test therapies for lung infections including coronaviruseson November 20, 2020 at 2:00 am
Duke researches now use artificial human "mini-lungs" for testing new therapies to beat COVID-19. They may also be able to repair lung damage from the virus.
- Global Artificial Immune Modulation Therapy Market 2020-2026: Estimated Commercial Opportunity and Future Directionson November 18, 2020 at 7:45 am
The "Artificial Immune Modulation Therapy Market Opportunity & Clinical Trials Insight 2026" report has been added to ...
via Bing News