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Pages 488-491
First published 2 September 2013

Molecular robotics approach for constructing an artificial cell model

Shin-Ichiro M. Nomura, Yusuke Sato, Kei Fujiwara


Prototype artificial cell models with designed functional molecules are presented here. Artificial molecular devices based on a giant liposome were prepared to obtain specific properties that cannot be obtained from natural cells. In this context, artificial cell research is seen an extension of "molecular robotics" research. Cooperative and integrated chemical systems will be constructed from the molecular devices. Here, we present the 3 aspects of the study model: (1) geneexpressing cell model encapsulated in the liposome to simulate membrane protein synthesis, (2) multirole molecular device with a designed DNA nanostructure on the cellular membrane, and (3) designed membrane peptide device for surface recognition. Although these devices are inspired by living cell functions, such goaloriented systems are free from the constraints of natural history and evolution. These artificial devices may be integrated to develop novel tools for living systems.