Can Bottom-Up Synthetic Biology Generate Advanced Drug-Delivery Systems?

Felix Lussier*, Oskar Staufer, Ilia Platzman, Joachim P. Spatz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Creating a magic bullet that can selectively kill cancer cells while sparing nearby healthy cells remains one of the most ambitious objectives in pharmacology. Nanomedicine, which relies on the use of nanotechnologies to fight disease, was envisaged to fulfill this coveted goal. Despite substantial progress, the structural complexity of therapeutic vehicles impedes their broad clinical application. Novel modular manufacturing approaches for engineering programmable drug carriers may be able to overcome some fundamental limitations of nanomedicine. We discuss how bottom-up synthetic biology principles, empowered by microfluidics, can palliate current drug carrier assembly limitations, and we demonstrate how such a magic bullet could be engineered from the bottom up to ultimately improve clinical outcomes for patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-459
Number of pages15
JournalTrends in Biotechnology
Volume39
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany (BMBF; grant agreement 13XP5073A – PolyAntiBak) and the MaxSynBio Consortium which is jointly funded by the BMBF and the Max Planck Society. They also acknowledge the support (from the SFB 1129 ) of the German Research Foundation and the Volkswagenstiftung (priority call ‘Life?’). J.P.S. is the Weston Visiting Professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science and part of the excellence cluster CellNetworks at the University of Heidelberg. F.L. acknowledges the support of the Alexander von Humboldt foundation . O.S. acknowledges support from the Heidelberg Biosciences International Graduate School and the Max Planck School Matter to Life. O.S. is the Meurer Visiting Professor at the University of Bristol. The Max Planck Society is appreciated for its general support.

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany (BMBF; grant agreement 13XP5073A ? PolyAntiBak) and the MaxSynBio Consortium which is jointly funded by the BMBF and the Max Planck Society. They also acknowledge the support (from the SFB 1129) of the German Research Foundation and the Volkswagenstiftung (priority call ?Life??). J.P.S. is the Weston Visiting Professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science and part of the excellence cluster CellNetworks at the University of Heidelberg. F.L. acknowledges the support of the Alexander von Humboldt foundation. O.S. acknowledges support from the Heidelberg Biosciences International Graduate School and the Max Planck School Matter to Life. O.S. is the Meurer Visiting Professor at the University of Bristol. The Max Planck Society is appreciated for its general support.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors

Keywords

  • bottom-up synthetic biology
  • droplet-based microfluidics
  • drug delivery

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