How does cellular life emerge from genetic information? Christophe Danelon and his team construct the basic modules of a cell:
Polymer chemist Julian Thiele extracts the protein-making skills from living cells and places them inside polymer microgels:
What if we could transform the harmful CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere into useful products? Tobias Erb constructs an artificial CO2-fixation cycle:
What if we could get cells to produce materials for us? Jean-Christophe Baret on creating chips to harness different functions in cells:
Finding out how life works is one of the biggest questions of the 21st century. Researchers all over Europe and beyond are building cells from their basic parts – bottom-up – in order to find answers to this question.
Since 2017, six lead researchers from Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternative (CAE), Delft University of Technology, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry and the University of Oxford decided to join forces in the European Synthetic Cell Initiative: a growing community of synthetic cell researchers and institutions.
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The mission of the European Synthetic Cell Initiative is to:
Activities will focus on three main areas. We aim to:
Building a synthetic cell and the fundamental insights that come with it, will have impact beyond scientific discoveries, influencing a broad range of industries in the areas of health, food and biobased materials. This may lead to:
Pharmaceuticals, food, nutrition, self-healing materials, bioplastics and sustainable fuels are a few examples of applications that come from the research field of building synthetic cells. The interest of companies will grow even more as the reality of a synthetic cell comes closer.
The path towards a synthetic cell involves the development of numerous methods and tools with important spin-off possibilities in the form of test beds for synthetic biology applications, advanced drug delivery systems, drug-screening methods, and bionanodevices for multiplex detection of molecules.
Want to get involved with the Synthetic Cell initiative? Get in touch with us!
The bureau of the European Synthetic Cell Initiative does not receive funding from companies or governments, but is funded through a small budget from research institutes and foundations, the names of which you can find at the bottom of the page.
We are currently looking for funding for outreach, as well as to stimulate cooperation between scientists and industry for the development of synthetic cell technologies. Would you like to support our initiative or share ideas with us, for example an opportunity for collaboration? Please contact the European Synthetic Cell Initiative bureau by sending an email to: email@example.com or fill in the form on our contact page!