First Plastic Cell

Chemists at Radboud University in The Netherlands have built the world’s first eukaryotic cell using plastic. Researchers created artificial organelles, which are the membrane-bound compartments of a cell that each have unique and important functions.

In order to make a complete cell, the tiny spheres mimicking the cell-organelles were filled with specific chemicals and placed inside a water droplet. Then the water droplet was covered with a polymer layer mimicking the cell wall. Using fluorescent dye, the researchers were able to show the reactions within the artificial cell took place just as they would in the body

Previously, chemists have managed to create artificial cell walls and developed synthetic DNA to produce self-replicating, synthetic bacterial cells. Now, for the first time, researchers have used polymers to produce an artificial eukaryotic cell capable of undertaking multiple chemical reactions through working organelles.

[Photo Courtesy – Synthetic Remarks]