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Artificial endosymbiosis

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "ARTISYM" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: GROENE LOPER 3
postcode: 5612 AE

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Netherlands [NL]
 Total cost 2˙500˙000 €
 EC max contribution 2˙500˙000 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2015-AdG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-01-01   to  2021-12-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Living organisms have acquired new functionalities by uptake and integration of species to create symbiotic life-forms. This process of endosymbiosis has intrigued scientists over the years, albeit mostly from an evolution biology perspective. With the advance of chemical and synthetic biology, our ability to create molecular-life-like systems has increased tremendously, which enables us to build cell and organelle-like structures. However, these advances have not been taken to a level to study comprehensively if endosymbiosis can be applied to non-living systems or to integrate living with non-living matter. The aim of the research described in the ARTISYM proposal is to establish the field of artificial endosymbiosis. Two lines of research will be followed. First, we will incorporate artificial organelles in living cells to design hybrid cells with acquired functionality. This investigation is scientifically of great interest, as it will show us how to introduce novel compartmentalized pathways into living organisms. It also serves an important societal goal, as with these compartments dysfunctional cellular processes can be corrected. We will follow both a transient and a permanent approach. With the transient route biodegradable nanoreactors are introduced to supply living cells temporarily with novel function. Functionality is permanently introduced using genetic engineering to express protein-based nanoreactors in living cells, or via organelle transplantation of healthy mitochondria in diseased living cells. Secondly I aim to create artificial cells with the ability to perform endosymbiosis; the uptake and presence of artificial organelles in synthetic vesicles allows them to dynamically respond to their environment. Responses that are envisaged are shape changes, motility, and growth and division. Furthermore, the incorporation of natural organelles in liposomes provides biocatalytic cascades with the necessary cofactors to function in an artificial cell


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Hailong Che, Jan C. M. van Hest
Adaptive Polymersome Nanoreactors
published pages: 1092-1109, ISSN: 2199-692X, DOI: 10.1002/cnma.201900245
ChemNanoMat 5/9 2020-01-30
2019 Yigit Altay, Shoupeng Cao, Hailong Che, Loai K. E. A. Abdelmohsen, Jan C. M. van Hest
Adaptive Polymeric Assemblies for Applications in Biomimicry and Nanomedicine
published pages: 4053-4064, ISSN: 1525-7797, DOI: 10.1021/acs.biomac.9b01341
Biomacromolecules 20/11 2020-01-30
2019 Alexander F. Mason, N. Amy Yewdall, Pascal L. W. Welzen, Jingxin Shao, Marleen van Stevendaal, Jan C. M. van Hest, David S. Williams, Loai K. E. A. Abdelmohsen
Mimicking Cellular Compartmentalization in a Hierarchical Protocell through Spontaneous Spatial Organization
published pages: 1360-1365, ISSN: 2374-7943, DOI: 10.1021/acscentsci.9b00345
ACS Central Science 5/8 2020-01-30
2018 Hailong Che, Shoupeng Cao, Jan C. M. van Hest
Feedback-Induced Temporal Control of “Breathing” Polymersomes To Create Self-Adaptive Nanoreactors
published pages: 5356-5359, ISSN: 0002-7863, DOI: 10.1021/jacs.8b02387
Journal of the American Chemical Society 140/16 2019-06-13
2017 Imke A. B. Pijpers, Loai K. E. A. Abdelmohsen, David S. Williams, Jan C. M. van Hest
Morphology Under Control: Engineering Biodegradable Stomatocytes
published pages: 1217-1222, ISSN: 2161-1653, DOI: 10.1021/acsmacrolett.7b00723
ACS Macro Letters 6/11 2019-06-13
2017 Hailong Che, Bastiaan C. Buddingh\', Jan C. M. van Hest
Self-Regulated and Temporal Control of a “Breathing” Microgel Mediated by Enzymatic Reaction
published pages: 12581-12585, ISSN: 1433-7851, DOI: 10.1002/anie.201706716
Angewandte Chemie International Edition 56/41 2019-06-13
2017 Alexander F. Mason, Bastiaan C. Buddingh’, David S. Williams, Jan C. M. van Hest
Hierarchical Self-Assembly of a Copolymer-Stabilized Coacervate Protocell
published pages: 17309-17312, ISSN: 0002-7863, DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b10846
Journal of the American Chemical Society 139/48 2019-06-13
2018 Lisanne M. P. E. van Oppen, Loai K. E. A. Abdelmohsen, Sjenet E. van Emst-de Vries, Pascal L. W. Welzen, Daniela A. Wilson, Jan A. M. Smeitink, Werner J. H. Koopman, Roland Brock, Peter H. G. M. Willems, David S. Williams, Jan C.M. van Hest
Biodegradable Synthetic Organelles Demonstrate ROS Shielding in Human-Complex-I-Deficient Fibroblasts
published pages: 917-928, ISSN: 2374-7943, DOI: 10.1021/acscentsci.8b00336
ACS Central Science 4/7 2019-06-13
2018 Jingxin Shao, Mona Abdelghani, Guizhi Shen, Shoupeng Cao, David S. Williams, Jan C. M. van Hest
Erythrocyte Membrane Modified Janus Polymeric Motors for Thrombus Therapy
published pages: 4877-4885, ISSN: 1936-0851, DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.8b01772
ACS Nano 12/5 2019-06-03
2018 Suzanne B. P. E. Timmermans, Daan F. M. Vervoort, Lise Schoonen, Roeland J. M. Nolte, Jan C. M. van Hest
Self-Assembly and Stabilization of Hybrid Cowpea Chlorotic Mottle Virus Particles under Nearly Physiological Conditions
published pages: 3518-3525, ISSN: 1861-4728, DOI: 10.1002/asia.201800842
Chemistry - An Asian Journal 13/22 2019-06-03
2018 Shoupeng Cao, Loai K. E. A. Abdelmohsen, Jingxin Shao, Joep van den Dikkenberg, Enrico Mastrobattista, David S. Williams, Jan C. M. van Hest
pH-Induced Transformation of Biodegradable Multilamellar Nanovectors for Enhanced Tumor Penetration
published pages: 1394-1399, ISSN: 2161-1653, DOI: 10.1021/acsmacrolett.8b00807
ACS Macro Letters 7/11 2019-09-02
2019 Jingxin Shao, Imke A. B. Pijpers, Shoupeng Cao, David S. Williams, Xuehai Yan, Junbai Li, Loai K. E. A. Abdelmohsen, Jan C. M. van Hest
Biomorphic Engineering of Multifunctional Polylactide Stomatocytes toward Therapeutic Nano-Red Blood Cells
published pages: 1801678, ISSN: 2198-3844, DOI: 10.1002/advs.201801678
Advanced Science 6/5 2019-09-02
2018 N. Amy Yewdall, Alexander F. Mason, Jan C. M. van Hest
The hallmarks of living systems: towards creating artificial cells
published pages: 20180023, ISSN: 2042-8898, DOI: 10.1098/rsfs.2018.0023
Interface Focus 8/5 2019-09-02
2018 Annelies C. Wauters, Imke A. B. Pijpers, Alexander F. Mason, David S. Williams, Jurjen Tel, Loai K. E. A. Abdelmohsen, Jan C.M. van Hest
Development of Morphologically Discrete PEG–PDLLA Nanotubes for Precision Nanomedicine
published pages: 177-183, ISSN: 1525-7797, DOI: 10.1021/acs.biomac.8b01245
Biomacromolecules 20/1 2019-09-02

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