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Construction of membrane-bound artificial cells using microfluidics: a new frontier in bottom-up synthetic biology

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Title: Construction of membrane-bound artificial cells using microfluidics: a new frontier in bottom-up synthetic biology
Authors: Elani, Y
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: The quest to construct artificial cells from the bottom-up using simple building blocks has received much attention over recent decades and is one of the grand challenges in synthetic biology. Cell mimics that are encapsulated by lipid membranes are a particularly powerful class of artificial cells due to their biocompatibility and the ability to reconstitute biological machinery within them. One of the key obstacles in the field centres on the following: how can membrane-based artificial cells be generated in a controlled way and in high-throughput? In particular, how can they be constructed to have precisely defined parameters including size, biomolecular composition and spatial organization? Microfluidic generation strategies have proved instrumental in addressing these questions. This article will outline some of the major principles underpinning membrane-based artificial cells and their construction using microfluidics, and will detail some recent landmarks that have been achieved.
Issue Date: 9-Jun-2016
Date of Acceptance: 6-Apr-2016
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/31658
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/BST20160052
ISSN: 1470-8752
Publisher: Portland Press
Start Page: 723
End Page: 730
Journal / Book Title: Biochemical Society Transactions
Volume: 44
Issue: 3
Copyright Statement: © 2016 The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society and distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution Licence 4.0 (CC BY).
Sponsor/Funder: Engineering & Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC)
Funder's Grant Number: EP/N016998/1
Keywords: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
0601 Biochemistry And Cell Biology
1101 Medical Biochemistry And Metabolomics
Publication Status: Published
Appears in Collections:Chemistry
Biological and Biophysical Chemistry
Faculty of Natural Sciences



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