Microfluidic Production of Porous Polymer Cell-Mimics Capable of Gene Expression

Imre Banlaki, François Xavier Lehr, Henrike Niederholtmeyer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Engineering simple, artificial models of living cells allows synthetic biologists to study cellular functions under well-controlled conditions. Reconstituting multicellular behaviors with synthetic cell-mimics is still a challenge because it requires efficient communication between individual compartments in large populations. This chapter presents a microfluidic method to produce large quantities of cell-mimics with highly porous, stable, and chemically modifiable polymer membranes that can be programmed on demand with nucleus-like DNA-hydrogel compartments for gene expression. We describe expression of genes encoded in the hydrogel compartment and communication between neighboring cell-mimics through diffusive protein signals.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages19
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745
ISSN (Electronic)1940-6029


  • Artificial cells
  • Cell-free transcription and translation
  • Communication
  • DNA hydrogel
  • Double emulsions
  • Microfluidics
  • Synthetic multicellular systems


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