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Bottom-up assembly of functional intracellular synthetic organelles by droplet-based microfluidics

MPS-Authors
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Staufer,  Oskar
Cellular Biophysics, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;
Biophysical Chemistry, Institute of Physical Chemistry, University of Heidelberg, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany;

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Schröter,  Martin
Cellular Biophysics, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

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Platzman,  Ilia
Cellular Biophysics, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;
Biophysical Chemistry, Institute of Physical Chemistry, University of Heidelberg, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany;

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Spatz,  Joachim P.
Cellular Biophysics, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;
Biophysical Chemistry, Institute of Physical Chemistry, University of Heidelberg, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany;

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Citation

Staufer, O., Schröter, M., Platzman, I., & Spatz, J. P. (2020). Bottom-up assembly of functional intracellular synthetic organelles by droplet-based microfluidics. Small, 16(27): 1906424, pp. 1-9. doi:10.1002/smll.201906424.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-B983-6
Abstract
Bottom-up synthetic biology has directed most efforts toward the construction of artificial compartmentalized systems that recreate living cell functions in their mechanical, morphological, or metabolic characteristics. However, bottom-up synthetic biology also offers great potential to study subcellular structures like organelles. Because of their intricate and complex structure, these key elements of eukaryotic life forms remain poorly understood. Here, the controlled assembly of lipid enclosed, organelle-like architectures is explored by droplet-based microfluidics. Three types of giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs)-based synthetic organelles (SOs) functioning within natural living cells are procedured: (A) synthetic peroxisomes supporting cellular stress-management, mimicking an organelle innate to the host cell by using analogous enzymatic modules; (B) synthetic endoplasmic reticulum (ER) as intracellular light-responsive calcium stores involved in intercellular calcium signalling, mimicking an organelle innate to the host cell but utilizing a fundamentally different mechanism; and (C) synthetic magnetosomes providing eukaryotic cells with a magnetotactic sense, mimicking an organelle that is not natural to the host cell but transplanting its functionality from other branches of the phylogenetic tree. Microfluidic assembly of functional SOs paves the way for high-throughput generation of versatile intracellular structures implantable into living cells. This in-droplet SO design may support or expand cellular functionalities in translational nanomedicine.