Saturday, March 17, 2018

Artificial and biological cells work together as mini chemical factories

This study which was created by a team from the Imperial College London can control the ability of biological cells to process and operate chemicals by also protecting these chemicals from environmental stress. Professor Oscar Ces at Imperial said: "Our new system bridges the gap between these two approaches by fusing whole biological cells with artificial ones so that the machinery of both works in concert to produce what we need." This advancement in biology can certainly be used to save the lives of millions with the success of artificial cells but there are still some things missing such as an outer artificial coating which could act as a biological membrane. To produce such artificial cells, the team used microfluidics. Since water and oil do not mix, they produced tiny droplets with cells and enzymes within them which acted as biological cells with an artificial coating which would give the cell protection. The team tested these artificially created cells in copper which is known to be very dangerous to cells and the team still managed to detect the fluorescent chemicals which in turn meant that these artificially created cells survived and still remained function. Understanding how these cells function and maintain such adaptability in toxic environments is important for future biological development. 

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