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Penn State team develops protein-based nanocomputing agent to influence cell behaviour

Paving the way for more targeted, efficient cell-based therapies to treat diseases like diabetes and cancer


Key points from article :

Researchers from Penn State have created the first protein-based nano-computing agent that functions as a circuit, which could help develop next-gen cell-based therapies for diseases like diabetes and cancer.

Traditional cell-based therapies depend on the expression or suppression of proteins to cause a desired action within a cell, which can be time-consuming and energy-intensive.

The team's approach involves engineering proteins to directly produce a desired action in response to certain stimuli.

The researchers created a target protein that responds to light and rapamycin, causing a change in its orientation.

This engineered protein was tested on live cells in culture, and the changes in cellular orientation were observed upon exposure to stimuli.

Their nano-computing agent can now produce two different outcomes, depending on the order in which the inputs (light and rapamycin) are received.

This proof-of-concept opens up the possibility for more complex nano-computing agents, with a wide range of potential inputs and outputs that could influence cell behaviour.

The team plans to further develop their nano-computing agents and experiment with different applications of the technology.

Research published in Science Advances.

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Penn State College of Medicine

Part of one of the leading academic medical centers.

Science Advances

Journal that publishes original research and reviews in all disciplines of science

Topics mentioned on this page:
Synthetic Biology, Medical Technology
Penn State team develops protein-based nanocomputing agent to influence cell behaviour