Stanford and Lawrence Berkeley Labs researchers have developed a molecular method based on guanidinium-rich molecular transporters (GR-MoTrs) for bringing small and large cargos into algal cells. Developed using Chlamydomonas reinhardtii this method is also successful with less studied algae thus providing a new and versatile tool for algal research. Algae represent a potentially inexpensive scalable CO2-fixing solar-powered source of diverse chemical products including biofuels synthetic building blocks nanomaterials recombinant proteins vaccines antibodies medicinal leads and food additives. Algae are also promising organisms for drug discovery and screening and have recognized value for bioremediation and as biosensors. However as encountered in the delivery of agents (e.g. siRNA and biologics) into mammalian cells efforts to study or control the inner-workings of algal cells as required for numerous research and commercial applications are severely limited by problems encountered in the delivery of probes genes and bio-macromolecules across algal cell wall and membrane barriers. This invention will help overcome these barriers.
1) Simple and inexpensive 2) Utilizing any available GR-MoTr 3) Scalable 4) Applicable to multiple algal species 5) Small and large delivery cargoes 6) Improved understanding of biological barriers 7) Has potential extensions to plant cells