Researchers build artificial cells that sense and respond to their environment


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The artificial cells could be used to sense changes in the body and respond by releasing drug molecules, or to sense and remove harmful metals in the environment.

Responding to chemical changes is a crucial function of biological cells. For example, cells can respond to chemicals by creating certain proteins, boosting energy production, or self-destructing. Chemicals are also used by cells to communicate with each other and coordinate a response or send a signal, such as a pain impulse.


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