Protocells are also known as artificial cells. These cells are very much active and copy living cells by making independent movements. They are quite bio-compatible and are active enzymatically. A new method developed by researchers from the Pennsylvania State University has made it possible to develop such artificial cells.
It is difficult to make living cells grow in the laboratory. As such, researchers work with synthetic cells, some times. However, synthetic cells have certain research limitation as they do not come with characteristics of real cells
These Protocells are Capable of Exhibiting Enzymatic Movements
Darrell Velegol is a distinguished professor in the chemical engineering department of the university. Professor Velegol talks about the difficulty in running controlled experiments on the motility of a cell. Such difficulty is mainly due to the activity of the surface enzyme. The research team has come up with a simple way to create artificial that can move actively like a real cell. However, this artificial cell is not able to have genetic mutations or reproduce like the real cells. Professor Velegol considers it to be an important step as it helps in the understanding of the movement of cells, particularly how the activity of enzymes get into cell activity.
The protocells that have been developed by this team is utilized in the investigation. This is to figure out how the activity of natural enzymes such as ATPase is capable of triggering the movement of protocells. ATP is considered complex organic substance that supplies energy for ADP and living cells. It is an important organic compound that has a significant role to play in how cells store and release energy.
Subhadip Ghosh is a postdoctoral researcher in chemistry in the Pennsylvania State University. He said that the outcome of this research will provide the researchers with the very first step toward the making of artificial cells that contain enzymatic activity as well.