Towards an artificial cell

Daniel A. Hammer*, Neha P. Kamat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


We are on the verge of producing "synthetic cells," or protocells, in which some, many or all of the tasks of a real biological cell are harnessed into a synthetic platform. Such advances are made possible through genetic engineering, microfabrication technologies, and the development of cellular membranes from new surfactants that extend beyond phospholipids in stability and chemical control, and can be used to introduce designer functionality into membranes and cells. We review some of the recent advances in the development of synthetic cells and suggest future exciting directions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2882-2890
Number of pages9
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number18
StatePublished - Aug 31 2012


  • Bilayer membrane
  • Protocell
  • Vesicle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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