Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A project coordinated by VTT turns plant cells into medical factories

19.09.2008
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland will coordinate the large EU research project called SmartCell.

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
Further information:
http://www.vtt.fi/?lang=en

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht 3D technology lets us look into the distant past
20.05.2019 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

nachricht Dangerous pathogens use this sophisticated machinery to infect hosts
20.05.2019 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Self-repairing batteries

UTokyo engineers develop a way to create high-capacity long-life batteries

Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...

Im Focus: Quantum Cloud Computing with Self-Check

With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.

Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...

Im Focus: Accelerating quantum technologies with materials processing at the atomic scale

'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.

However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...

Im Focus: A step towards probabilistic computing

Working group led by physicist Professor Ulrich Nowak at the University of Konstanz, in collaboration with a team of physicists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, demonstrates how skyrmions can be used for the computer concepts of the future

When it comes to performing a calculation destined to arrive at an exact result, humans are hopelessly inferior to the computer. In other areas, humans are...

Im Focus: Recording embryonic development

Scientists develop a molecular recording tool that enables in vivo lineage tracing of embryonic cells

The beginning of new life starts with a fascinating process: A single cell gives rise to progenitor cells that eventually differentiate into the three germ...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Cement as a climate killer: Using industrial residues to produce carbon neutral alternatives

20.05.2019 | Materials Sciences

When bees are freezing

20.05.2019 | Life Sciences

Machine learning speeds modeling of experiments aimed at capturing fusion energy on Earth

20.05.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>