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We have considered as examples for the proof of principle two different diseases that could be treated by the use of our synthetic microencapsulated cellular device (Figure 1):

  • The therapy of hepatitis C by the local production of interferon alpha followed by the production of hepatocyte growth factor, providing a regeneration step.
  • The therapy of ischaemic heart disease with anakinra as an antiinflammatory agent, while vascular endothelial growth factor and platelet-derived growth factor, produced in stoichiometric amounts enhance angiogenesis and tissue oxigenation.

Figure 1. The proposed therapeutic implementations of our synthetic biology device.

Important advantages, considerations and limitations of the therapeutic implementation of the synthetic cellular devices based on cell microencapsulation


  • The ability to produce several protein therapeutics at the same time or in a defined temporal sequence.
    • Two therapeutics under the control of different operators can be timed to expression at different stages of the disease or its therapy.
    • Introduction of the p2a (or t2a) amino acid sequence in frame between two or more protein coding sequences allows concurrent stoichiometric production of these proteins (Szymczak et al., 2004; see stimulation of angiogenesis in the therapy of ishaemia for an example, Banfi et al., 2012).
  • The ability to switch between several therapeutic regimens.
  • Therapeutic action can be localized within the affected tissue.
  • Engineered therapeutic cells can mimic stem cells, which secrete many growth factors (e.g. the antiinflammatory and antifibrotic effect of mesenhymal stem cells in lung injury was attributed to secretion of anakinra (Ortiz et al., 2007).
  • Continuous production of a therapeutic protein, avoiding peaks and dips in drug concentration, reducing the side effects.


      Hepatitis C >>