Cheemeng Tan builds artificial bacteria-eating cells, named a Young Innovator
Branco Weiss Alumnus Cheemeng Tan and his research team at the Department of Biomedical Engineering of the University of California, Davis, have engineered artificial cells from the bottom-up — like Lego blocks — to destroy bacteria. The cells are built from liposomes, or bubbles with a cell-like lipid membrane, and purified cellular components including proteins, DNA and metabolites.
The team’s artificial cells mimic the essential features of live cells but are short-lived and cannot divide to reproduce themselves. The cells were designed to respond to a unique chemical signature on E. coli bacteria. They were able to detect, attack and destroy the bacteria in laboratory experiments. Antibacterial artificial cells might one day be infused into patients to tackle infections resistant to other treatments. They might also be used to deliver drugs at the specific location and time, or as biosensors.
On another note, Cheemeng Tan has been named recently a 2018 Young Innovator by Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering (CMBE) — the official journal of the Biomedical Engineering Society. Now in their fifth year, the recognitions honor junior faculty performing major and impactful biomedical-engineering research.
Read the news on the website of The Times of India
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Read the paper in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Read the news about the Young Innovator award