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Title: Light-activated synthetic tissues
Author: Restrepo Schild, Vanessa
ISNI:       0000 0004 8507 2125
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2020
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In this thesis, biological activity is recreated from the bottom-up. By putting together carefully-defined aqueous solutions of chemicals, the fundamental mechanisms of specific cells and tissues were replicated. Only one of the tissue's functions was chosen for each construct. Of the billions of molecules inside each cell, only the necessary components were incorporated. Light was used to remotely control this biological function, either by using natural light-activatable molecules or by chemically-modifying others to yield them light-responsive. The recreated functions were image-detection, by imitating a retina, and signal propagation, by imitating a nerve. For this, artificial cells were formed from self-enclosed membranes, in which the contents were confined, and the membrane proteins reconstituted. The artificial cells were then assembled into artificial tissues, which bestowed them with their respective emergent properties, i.e. image detection and signal propagation. Droplet networks were used as the building blocks due to their modularity and bio-compatibility. The resulting light-activated droplet networks might pave the way towards synthetic interfaces with living tissues, or even the generation of organism-like constructs.
Supervisor: Bayley, John Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available