BackgroundFor all living organisms, sensing weak signals in environment and amplifying them are critically important to survive. Various types of signal sensing/ transduction systems have been highly developed in the course of evolution, e.g. immune and neuro-transmission systems. These systems are not only astonishingly sensitive but very effective and efficient. If we could borrow principles from the living systems, we could create a system with novel functionalities. In our project, we decided to create a sensing and signal transduction systems made of designed artificial biomolecules and chemicals.
MotivationIn order to realize a signal transduction system, we need to develop two types of system; a sensing system that detects external signal and a transmitting system that amplifies the signal and releases large amount of output molecules (payloard). We adopt liposomes as a container of the system.
Project: Lipo-HANABIIn our system, stored molecules in liposome are released in chain-reaction triggered by environmental stimuli. The system adopts a two-stage mechanism as follows.
1st stage: Sensing system
Fig1. Sensing system
2nd stage: Amplification system
Fig2. Amplification system
The mechanism of this system is similar to that of HANABI (fireworks in Japanese), therefore, we termed the project "Lipo-HANABI".