Biomimicry of Cellular Motility and Communication Based on Synthetic Soft-Architectures

Lei Wang, Shidong Song, Jan van Hest, Loai K.E.A. Abdelmohsen, Xin Huang, Samuel Sánchez (Corresponding author)

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58 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Cells, sophisticated membrane-bound units that contain the fundamental molecules of life, provide a precious library for inspiration and motivation for both society and academia. Scientists from various disciplines have made great endeavors toward the understanding of the cellular evolution by engineering artificial counterparts (protocells) that mimic or initiate structural or functional cellular aspects. In this regard, several works have discussed possible building blocks, designs, functions, or dynamics that can be applied to achieve this goal. Although great progress has been made, fundamental—yet complex—behaviors such as cellular communication, responsiveness to environmental cues, and motility remain a challenge, yet to be resolved. Herein, recent efforts toward utilizing soft systems for cellular mimicry are summarized—following the main outline of cellular evolution, from basic compartmentalization, and biological reactions for energy production, to motility and communicative behaviors between artificial cell communities or between artificial and natural cell communities. Finally, the current challenges and future perspectives in the field are discussed, hoping to inspire more future research and to help the further advancement of this field.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1907680
Number of pages19
JournalSmall : Nano Micro
Volume16
Issue number27
Early online date6 Apr 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

Funding

L.W. thanks the NSFC (No. 51703043), the Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship (Grant No. 712754), and the Severo Ochoa programme (Grant SEV-2014-0425 (2015-2019)). X.H. thanks the NSFC (No. 21871069). S.S. thanks the Spanish MINECO for grants CTQ2015-68879-R(MICRODIA), CTQ2015-72471-EXP (Enzwim), and Proyecto RTI2018-098164-B-I00 financiado a través de MCIU/AEI/FEDER, UE. L.W. thanks the NSFC (No. 51703043), the Marie Skłodowska‐Curie fellowship (Grant No. 712754), and the Severo Ochoa programme (Grant SEV‐2014‐0425 (2015‐2019)). X.H. thanks the NSFC (No. 21871069). S.S. thanks the Spanish MINECO for grants CTQ2015‐68879‐R(MICRODIA), CTQ2015‐72471‐EXP (Enzwim), and Proyecto RTI2018‐098164‐B‐I00 financiado a través de MCIU/AEI/FEDER, UE.

FundersFunder number
Marie Skłodowska‐CurieSEV-2014-0425
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme694120
National Natural Science Foundation of China2015‐2019, 51703043, 21871069, 712754, SEV‐2014‐0425
Ministerio de Economía y CompetitividadCTQ2015‐68879‐R

    Keywords

    • biomimicry
    • coacervates
    • communication
    • micro/nanoswimmers
    • polymersomes
    • proteinosomes
    • protocells

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