Researchers have now developed some artificial cells which are able to respond to the external chemical forces, exactly like real cells do.
Scientists have been able to make the cells glow with the fluorescence when they detect any calcium in their environment. It is a primary skill for the biological cells to use calcium for communication, nut a huge step for scientists if they want to develop artificial cells that they can program or manipulate.
James Hindley, a chemical biologist says that developing artificial cells has many advantages. For example, they could foresee the creation of artificial cells which could sense cancer markers and then synthesize a drug formed within the body, or artificial cells that were able to sense heavy metals around them and as a response, release selective sponges for cleaning them up.
For creating the desired reaction, Hindley along with his colleagues has built a cell which is made up of some smaller compartments that are called vesicles. At the edge of the cell is a lipid membrane that contains pores which allow the calcium to enter, and then the calcium ions activate the enzymes that are inside the vesicles, hence producing the fluorescing effect.
While this does not fully match with the complex biochemical interactions that are seen in nature, it certainly shows off the potential of the artificial cells as well as the ways in which they can be made to serve certain purposes.