Cell-free Synthetic Biology

Dr. Henrike Niederholtmeyer


Research Area

Research in our group is motivated by the remarkable precision with which living organisms control when and where reactions happen. What are the characteristics of the molecular interactions that drive organization in time and in space? How much organization is necessary to integrate multiple complex biochemical functions? Can we learn from biology to design new life-like materials? To answer these questions we build and study artificial, biochemically simplified systems. We take a creative approach to engineering biology-inspired reaction systems using a combination of biological and synthetic components. We use and develop microfluidic tools, hybrid materials, and cell-free reaction systems.

Group of Henrike Niederholtmeyer in November 2021

Selected recent publications

Banlaki I, Lehr FX, Niederholtmeyer H# (2022)
Microfluidic production of porous polymer cell-mimics capable of gene expression. In: Karim A.S., Jewett M.C. (eds) Cell-Free Gene Expression. Methods in Molecular Biology, vol 2433. Humana, New York, NY.

Bhattacharya A*, Niederholtmeyer H*, Podolsky KA, Bhattacharya R, Song JJ, Brea RJ, Tsai CH, Sinha SK, Devaraj NK (2020)
Lipid sponge droplets as programmable synthetic organelles.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences doi: 10.1073/pnas.2004408117.

Niederholtmeyer H, Chaggan C, Devaraj NK (2018)
Communication and quorum sensing in non-living mimics of eukaryotic cells.
Nature Communications 9, 5027.

Niederholtmeyer H*, Sun ZZ*, Hori Y, Yeung E, Verpoorte A, Murray RM, and Maerkl SJ (2015)
Rapid cell-free forward engineering of novel genetic ring oscillators.
eLife 4, e09771.






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