May 25, 2008

Polymer containers could deliver enzymes to human cells

New Scientist reports on 200 nanometer polymer spheres that can get placed into living cells Nextbigfuture assumes that they could change the size to bigger to place larger amounts of material into cells. Human cells are about 20 microns across. Mitocondria are 1–10 micrometers across.

Aubrey de Grey has indicated :
if this works in vivo. It could certainly be used to deliver the microbial enzymes [of the SENS plan]. The SENS projects are working to identify what will break down indigestible junk inside cells which cause atherosclerosis and other diseases.

Lysosens project: identification of microbial enzymes capable of removing the recalcitrant wastes of damaged cellular components that our cells can’t break down and recycle on their own (cellular “junk”), and delivering these enzymes to the cellular “incinerator” (the lysosome).

So the polymer containers could be used to deliver identified enzymes to the cell.

The Mitichondria (Mitosens) project is making progress and there is alternative work from mainstream sources. The Sirtris molecule is 1,000 times more potent than resveratrol, and could lead to solutions for diseases of aging including cancer and diabetes, according to an article published in the journal Nature. Calorie restriction may operate via improving mitochondria function.


Jonathan said...

Would we want to deliver enzymes to the human cells through this container, or would we want to insert a gene that could create the enzymes automatically? If the prior, I assume this would be a therapeutic approach that would have to be introduced every 5 years or so. Could there be negative repercussions to introducing to many enzymes into a single cell? If it is the latter, would we reprogram the genes and then introduce them back into the body through stem cells?

bw said...

I think either approach would be satisfactory if either one could be made to work and work safely.

I think the polymer containers of enzymes is a potentially simpler and nearer term method.

the lyso junk build up only occurs every few decades. so simply delivering the needed enzymes once every couple of decades should be enough to clean up the cells for each person and to rejuvenate them.