Lives of soldiers and others injured in remote locations could be saved with a cell-free protein synthesis system developed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
The device, a creation of a team led by Andrea Timm and Scott Retterer of the lab’s Biosciences Division, uses microfabricated bioreactors to help the on-demand production of therapeutic proteins for medicines and biopharmaceuticals. Making these miniature factories cell-free, which eliminates the maintenance of a living system, simplifies the process and lowers cost.
“With this approach, we can produce more protein faster, making our technology ideal for point-of-care use,” Retterer said. “The fact it’s cell-free reduces the infrastructure needed to produce the protein and opens the possibility of creating proteins when and where you need them, bypassing the challenge of keeping the proteins cold during shipment and storage.” [Read more…]