Biomimetics can replace dysfunctional body cells

Biomimetics can replace dysfunctional body cells

Tuesday 06 Feb 18
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by Nanna Bild

Contact

Leticia Hosta-Rigau
Associate Professor
DTU Nanotech
+45 45 25 81 55
As humanity rises in size and age, the challenges increase to ensure health and quality of life for all of us. Science is therefore busy developing new methods for preventing, diagnosing and treating diseases and ensuring a long life of high quality in the future.

One of the many ways science is going to find new solutions is biomimetics - also called bionik - where you try to imitate or restore nature's amazing properties all the way down to the molecular level. On the nanotechnical scale, researchers are working to produce artificial body cells and blood cells or brand new organs.

Nanotechnology has the potential to reproduce organs and new parts to the body's broken tissues or copy the building blocks of the broken body.

Leticia Hosta-Rigau, associate professor at the Department of Micro and Nanotechnology, is one of the researchers who are involved in biomimetic approaches to producing artificial cells for future healthcare solutions. 

Multicompartment carriers
When you want to emulate the cells of the body, it may be to replace a missing or lost function in the existing cells. The method can be used if the body does not produce a particular enzyme.

“The main feature of biological cells and organelles is compartmentalization. There is no life without compartmentalization and biological cells have developed this strategy as a powerful tool to optimize the chemistry and physics using a single bilayer,” says Leticia Hosta-Rigau.

“We have recently reported a new class of multicompartment carriers mimicking the compartmentalized structure of a cell which consist in thousands of liposomes embedded within a polymeric carrier capsule.

Our multicompartment carrier will be working as artificial cells towards the treatment of conditions suffering from a malfunctioning enzyme or as an erythrocyte mimic towards the creation of a universal red blood cell substitute.

Furthermore, when administered into cells, our multicompartment carrier can act as a “cell implant” in the form of artificial organelles that can contribute to the treatment of several cell disorders by replenishing diminished cell activity.

This new class of therapeutics can be used as sustainable therapies for a variety of diseases.”