Numerous biotechnological processes require Adenosine-5'-triphosphate (ATP) as a form of free energy to drive endergonic reactions. The bottleneck is that after some time the reaction stops due to adenosine diphosphate (ADP) build up and the depletion of energy reserves. In living cells, functional and sustainable out-of-equilibrium networks exist. Scientists have tried to mimic such autonomous systems without the need for external interaction, or fuel supply. Real success hasn’t been reported. We managed to construct a fuel system in synthetic vesicles that is kept away from equilibrium by controlling the energy dissipation. These vesicles are power houses for sustainable production of ATP (and removal of ADP) much like mitochondria power the ATP-demanding reactions in the cytosol of a cell. In further tests, we were able to reach an order of magnitude longer autonomous operation of a real-life application making our approach truly unique. All the comparable approaches focus on feeding the reaction with ATP without draining of the ADP. Our system creates the fuel from an amino acid while the ATP/ADP ratio is kept constant. The gain for applications is evident; the reactions, and therefore systems, can operate autonomously for long periods of time. This is particularly important for mobile systems with limited supply of reaction materials and where user intervention has to be minimal. Therefore, we expect to enable a completely new generation of autonomous biotech and chemistry applications, such as targeted drug delivery, analytics of nucleic acids or proteins, and cascade reactions for (bio)chemical syntheses of antibiotics, vitamins and other complex molecules. In this PoC, we will advance the commercialization of our approach by carrying out a technical feasibility for sustainable production of ATP for long-lasting sequencing of DNA application. In addition, we will prepare a commercialization plan, carry out partnering actions and strengthen the IP further.
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