First Plastic Cell With Working Organelle:
It is hard for chemists to match the chemistry in living cells In their laboratories. In a cell many complex reactions are taking place in an overfull Simultaneously , small container , in various compartments and incredibly efficiently. This is why chemists attempt to imitate the cell in various ways. In doing so , they hope to learn more about the origin of life and the transition from chemistry to biology.
Jan van Hest and his PhD candidate. Their organelles Ruud Peters created by tiny spheres filling 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 the planned cascade of reactions, it did in fact take place . This means that they are the first polymer chemists to create a working cell with 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 .
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. We would like to do the same in the future . Another step would be to make cells produce their own energy supply . Also we are working on ways of controlling the movement of chemicals within the cell, organelles towards . 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.