Synthetic cells that act like real ones designedJuly 21st, 2010 - 5:03 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, July 21 (IANS) Inspired by ants’ social interactions, researchers have created artificial cells capable of acting like their biological counterparts. The research paves the way towards producing synthetic cells that could perform important, microscale functions in fields ranging from the chemical industry to medicine.
The University of Pittsburgh team has designed a way to develop artificial cells or microcapsules, reports the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
These synthetic cells can communicate, move independently, and transport “cargo” such as chemicals needed for reactions, said a Pittsburg release.
Most importantly, the “biologically inspired” devices function entirely through simple physical and chemical processes, behaving like complex natural organisms, minus the complicated internal biochemistry, said Anna Balazs.
Balazs is professor of chemical engineering in Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering.
The Pitt group’s microcapsules interact by secreting nano-particles in a way similar to that used by biological cells signal to communicate and assemble into groups.
And much like the ants, the cells leave chemical trails as they travel, prompting fellow microcapsules to follow.
Balazs worked with German Kolmakov and Victor Yashin, both post-doctoral researchers in Pitt’s Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, who produced the cell models, and with Steven Levitan, professor of electrical and computer engineering, who devised the ant-like trailing ability.
- Amazing gel could breathe feeling in robots - Mar 30, 2012
- A quick-fix found for mobile phone cracks, scratches - Jan 11, 2012
- Researchers develop graft that regenerates coronary arteries - Jun 25, 2012
- Scientists peer into real time brain cell activity - May 31, 2011
- Ants can smell out rivals - Feb 23, 2012
- Fungus turn rainforest ants into zombies - May 09, 2011
- Sticky mussels inspire tough coating for living cells - Apr 07, 2011
- Smart bugs inspire better robotics design - Nov 18, 2011
- 'Living' microbot to detect diseases in future - Mar 30, 2012
- Programming bacteria to act like mini computers - Dec 09, 2010
- Now steps taken in labs to create 'inorganic life' - Sep 18, 2011
- Desert ants use magnetic cues to return home - Mar 11, 2012
- New way to screen breast cancer cells' ability to metastasize - Jan 09, 2011
- Scientists step closer to creating test tube intelligence - Jul 22, 2011
- Researchers engineer 'artificial' jellyfish - Jul 23, 2012
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,