Programmable jack for cells

Programmable jack for cells

Bacterial cells (red) with a programmable composite of silicon nanoparticles (yellow) and carbon nanotubes (blue). Credit: Niemeyer-Lab, KIT

Using DNA, small silicon particles, and carbon nanomaterials, researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have developed novel programmable nanocomposites that can be tailored to various applications and programmed to move quickly and smoothly. From a medical point of view, they can create an environment where human stem cells can settle and develop. In addition, they are suitable for deploying bio-hybrid systems, for example to generate energy. Results are presented The nature of communications And on the bioRxiv platform.

Stem cells are cultivated for fundamental research and for the development of effective therapies against powerful diseases, ie. Replacing damaged tissue. However, stem cells only create healthy tissue in an adequate environment. For the formation of three-dimensional tissue structures, materials are required to support cellular functions with perfect elasticity. New programmable materials suitable for use as a substrate for biomechanical applications have been developed by Christophe M. Schmidt, Professor of Biological Interfaces Institute. By the Niemeyer Group, Institute of Mechanical Process Engineering and Mechanics, Institute of Zoology and other KIT functional interfaces. The use of these materials may, by the way, create an environment where human stem cells can settle and even develop.

As the researchers said The nature of communicationsThe new materials include DNA, small silicon particles, and carbon dioxide. "These compositions are formed by a biochemical reaction and their properties can be adjusted by the number of individual constituents." Niemeyer. In addition, nanocomposites can be programmed for rapid and gentle degradation and release of adult cells within the cell, which can then be used for further experiments.

New materials for biohybrid systems

According to another publication by the team on the bioRxiv bioscopy platform, the new nanocomposites can also be used to build programmable bio-hybrid systems. "The use of live microorganisms integrated inside electrochemical devices is an extended area of ​​research," said Professor Johannes Gescher of the KIT Institute for Applied Biology (IAB) who participated in the study. "It is possible to produce microbial fuel cells, microbial biosensors, or microbial bioreactors in this way."

The biohybrid system developed by KIT researchers contains the bacteria Shewanella oneidensis. It is exoelectric, which means that when an organic substance degrades under lack of oxygen, an electric current is generated. When Shewanella oneidensis is cultivated in KIT-developed nanocomposites, it exhibits a composite matrix, and on its surface remains non-exoelectric Escherichia coli bacteria. Shewanella-containing composite remains stable for several days. Future work will focus on the launch of new materials bioengineering programs.

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More info:
Jong Hu et al. Carbon-nanotube reinforcement of DNA-silicon nanocomposites provides bioavailability with programmable and cellular instructions, The nature of communications (2019). DOI: 10.1038 / s41467-019-13381-1

Jong Hu et al. Cultivation of exoelectric bacteria in conductive DNA in nanosized hydrogels provides a system of programmable bio-hybrid materials, (2019). DOI: 10.1101 / 864967

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Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Programmable Nest for Cells (2020, January 17)
Retrieved January 19, 2020

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