The four-year project focuses on developing methods for production of valuable pharmaceutical compounds using plant cells as a production host in an effective and controlled manner.
The methods based on plant biotechnology are an alternative to chemical synthesis. By controlling the cell metabolism of a 'green factory', i.e. a living plant cell, it is possible to affect the production of desired high-value compounds. This kind of metabolic engineering also stimulates the cells towards producing completely new compounds.
Plants generate valuable secondary metabolic compounds, which can be used as pharmaceuticals. Most of these compounds are so complex that their chemical synthesis is not economically feasible. This is why biotechnology opens up a whole new avenue of possibilities. The SmartCell project will focus on terpene compounds, which are valuable for the pharmaceutical industry. These compounds for example are used in the treatment of cancer and malaria. The expertise and technology created during the project can be applied to a considerable extent in developing the biotechnological production of other compound groups in plants and plant cells.
"The opportunities offered by plant biotechnology could be much more extensively exploited in the pharmaceutical industry. The latest research methods can be used to intensify the production of valuable agents in plant cells; in a manner of speaking, plant cells could become real 'green factories'," says project coordinator, Chief Research Scientist Kirsi-Marja Oksman-Caldentey of VTT.
The SmartCell project brings together research partners from fourteen leading European research institutes and universities as well as three small and medium-sized and two major industrial enterprises. In addition to VTT, the project participants include e.g. VIB (Belgium), Leiden University (the Netherlands), Lleida University (Spain) and Fraunhofer IME Aachen, (Germany). The project's total budget is EUR 8.5 million, of which the EU's contribution is EUR 6 million. The contractual negotiations will soon be concluded, and the project will start in January 2009.
Press Office | alfa
Scientists unlock ability to generate new sensory hair cells
22.02.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital
New insights into the information processing of motor neurons
22.02.2017 | Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
22.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
22.02.2017 | Life Sciences
22.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy