Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

First plastic cell with working organelle

Date:
January 14, 2014
Source:
Radboud University Nijmegen
Summary:
For the first time, chemists have successfully produced an artificial cell containing organelles capable of carrying out the various steps of a chemical reaction.

A close-up of a polymer cell with organelles.
Credit: Image courtesy of Radboud University Nijmegen

For the first time, chemists have successfully produced an artificial cell containing organelles capable of carrying out the various steps of a chemical reaction. This was done at the Institute for Molecules and Materials (IMM) at Radboud University Nijmegen.

The discovery was published in the first 2014 issue of the journal Angewandte Chemie, and was also highlighted by Nature Chemistry.

It is hard for chemists to match the chemistry in living cells in their laboratories. After all, in a cell all kinds of complex reactions are taking place simultaneously in an overfull, small container, in various compartments and incredibly efficiently. This is why chemists attempt to imitate the cell in various ways. In doing so, they also hope to learn more about the origin of life and the transition from chemistry to biology.

Jan van Hest and his PhD candidate Ruud Peters created their organelles by filling tiny spheres with chemicals and placing these inside a water droplet. They then cleverly covered the water droplet with a polymer layer -- the cell wall. Using fluorescence, they were able to show that the planned cascade of reactions did in fact take place. This means that they are the first chemists to create a polymer cell with working organelles. Just like in the cells in our bodies, the chemicals are able to enter the cell plasma following the reaction in the organelles, to be processed elsewhere in the cell.

Search for the origin of life

Creating cell-like structures is currently very popular in the field of chemistry, with various methods being tried at the Institute for Molecules and Materials (IMM). Professor Wilhelm Huck, for example, is making cells from tiny droplets of solutions very similar to cytoplasm, and Van Hest's group is building cells using polymers.

Competing groups are working closer to biology; making cells from fatty acids, for example. We would like to do the same in the future. Another step would be to make cells that produce their own energy supply. We are also working on ways of controlling the movement of chemicals within the cell, towards organelles. By simulating these things, we are able to better understand living cells. One day we will even be able to make something that looks very much like the real thing...'


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Radboud University Nijmegen. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Ruud J. R. W. Peters, Maïté Marguet, Sébastien Marais, Marco W. Fraaije, Jan C. M. van Hest, Sébastien Lecommandoux. Cascade Reactions in Multicompartmentalized Polymersomes. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2014; 53 (1): 146 DOI: 10.1002/anie.201308141
  2. Russell Johnson. Nanoreactors: Catalysis in compartments. Nature Chemistry, 2013; 6 (1): 5 DOI: 10.1038/nchem.1840

Cite This Page:

Radboud University Nijmegen. "First plastic cell with working organelle." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140114091707.htm>.
Radboud University Nijmegen. (2014, January 14). First plastic cell with working organelle. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140114091707.htm
Radboud University Nijmegen. "First plastic cell with working organelle." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140114091707.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) — Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) — Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction

Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) — With plenty of honking, flapping, and fluttering, more than three dozen Caribbean flamingos at Zoo Miami were rounded up today as the iconic exhibit was closed for renovations. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) — Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins