Optical tweezers - mini tractor beams- help arrange artificial cells to form tissues

artificial cells
Artificial cells


Optical tweezers - mini tractor beams- help arrange artificial cells to form tissues

The researchers used optical tweezers- mini tractor beams to link, arrange and merge industrial cells together, paving the way for the formation of networks of artificial cells that act as tissues.

The team says that by changing the membranes of the artificial cells, optical tweezers - mini tractor beams can push the cells to stick together, allowing them to be arranged in whole new structures.

Biological cells can perform complex functions, but it is difficult to arrange them in a desired geometrical form. Researchers at the Imperial College London and Loughborough University London have shown a new level of complexity with artificial cells by arranging them in basic tissue structures with different types of communication.

These structures can be used to start chemical reactions or to carry out functions such as transporting chemicals around artificial and biological cell networks. They can be useful in studying the occurrence of chemical reactions in the small size and the mechanism by which the cells communicate with each other, as well as a new generation of industrial biomaterials.

Cells are known to be the basic units of biology and are able to work together when arranged in tissues. In order to do this, cells must be connected and be able to exchange materials with each other.

The team was able to connect artificial cells to a series of new buildings. In artificial cells, the membrane-like layer was in the form of a shell, which the researchers designed to catch each other.

In order to make the cells close enough, the team had to first manipulate the cells with "optical forceps" which used to drag the cells in any position. Once connected, the cells could be transferred as a unit.

Cellular membranes often bounce together like rubber balls. By changing the biophysics of membranes in our cells and gluing them like rock bricks, we can use industrial cells instead of our cells.

However, researchers were able to create a network of conductive cells through the important conductor. By reproducing biological components such as proteins in the membrane, they can get the cells to communicate and exchange materials with each other.  This simulates what can be seen in nature; therefore, it is a major step forward in the creation of artificial cells resembling biological cells.

The team was also able to add cells because the membrane did not stay together, but the membrane was attached to the membrane of the material so that they could be moved together.

Once the team mastered the process of adding cells, they were able to create cells in more complex systems. They include cell lines and 2D shapes like square and three-dimensional shaped pyramids. Once the cells get stuck together they can be rearranged, because they are drawn by the laser beam as a group.

Finally, the team managed to add two cells and then merged them into a large cell. It was obtained by coating the membrane with nanoparticles. When the laser beam focuses on the photoreceptor cells at the junction of two cells, the membrane breaks at this point, and then the membrane is completely repaired.


In this way, the integration of cells allows any chemical within the large chemicals through chemical reactions. This can be useful, for example transferring substances such as medicines for cells, and changes in cell structure, which helps them to do new things. Adding artificial cells together is a valuable technique in the comprehensive toolkit, which can be collected to create these biological systems using down-up methods, then can be started expanding the cell network into a wide network, and large tissues.


Journal Reference:

 Nature Communications, 2018; 9 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-04282-w


Optical tweezers - mini tractor beams- help arrange artificial cells to form tissues Optical tweezers - mini tractor beams- help arrange artificial cells to form tissues Reviewed by The Scientific World on December 14, 2018 Rating: 5

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