Jorge Bernardino de la Serna MEMPHYS - Center for Biomembrane Physics, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology University of Southern Denmark Odense, Denmark Giant liposomes of pulmonary surfactant Confocal
photomicrography of giant liposomes in diameter) comprised of fats and proteins from the surface of the mammalian lung alveoli without any chemical treatment - One of the most ambitious endeavours of synthetic biology is creating “minimal cells”
There are around 150 million alveoli in a human lung. 95% of the alveolar surface area is made of squamous (type I) alveolar cells which allow for gas diffusion between air and blood and 5% of great (type II) alveolar cells which are cuboidal shaped and repair the alveolar epithelium and secrete pulmonary surfactant. Pulmonary surfactant coats the alveoli &small bronchioles and prevents collapsing.
Giant Liposomes of pulmonary surfactant. A liposome is "a minute spherical sac of phospholipid molecules enclosing a water droplet, esp. as formed artificially to carry drugs or other substances into the tissues.
As Airway Therapeutics pursues development of a major improvement in artificial surfactant, the start-up company offers a valuable lesson in what it takes to cross the drug development “funding desert.” The new company’s product is based on research by Jeff Whitsett, MD, chief of the Division of Neonatology Perinatal and Pulmonary Biology at Cincinnati Children's.