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Using Microfluidics to Create Hybrid Cellular Bionic Systems

07:07 EDT 14 Mar 2018 | Genetic Engineering News

Fusing the artificial to the biological at the cellular level has moved beyond the realm of science fiction and into laboratories of reality, as a team of investigators at the Imperial College London has fused living and nonliving cells for the first time in a way that allows them to work together. The new cellular system encapsulates biological cells within an artificial cell. Using this, researchers can harness the natural ability of biological cells to process chemicals while protecting them from the environment. Findings from the new study—published today in Scientific Reports , in an article entitled “ Constructing Vesicle-Based Artificial Cells with Embedded Living Cells as Organelle-Like Modules ”—could lead to applications such as cellular "batteries" powered by photosynthesis, synthesis of drugs inside the body, and biological sensors that can withstand harsh conditions. The artificial cells the researchers created also contain enzymes that work in concert ...

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