In Biology, could we produce a single layer of cells, separating two mediums?
The red circles are a different chemical species than the blue circles.
Suppose we had an multicellular organism that was shaped as a layer, separating two mediums in a recipient. It survives on some nutrients and gases that are provided in the mediums. It’s survival is not the main issue here.
Perhaps this organism could be creating by modifying the genes that control the shape of of existing life form, until this layer shape is achieved. Or perhaps it could have more than one layer, if that made it easier, but maintaining this thin aspect.
We could, in theory, modify the membrane proteins to allow passage to specific molecules of interest. It could use the full features of the selective membrane. Naturally, just this would be a lifetime’s work.
Or it could go even further. It could take selected molecules from side A, absorb them, build with the cell machinery substances of interest and expel to side B. This would be a living factory. Aminoacids, proteins, vitamins, drugs, all could be produced in theory.
Maybe it could take CO2 and use it to produce sugar, with the purpose of removing CO2 of air. That would be a carbon capture method, perhaps.
Let’s face it, the only thing shown to produce complex molecules with relative ease is the cell machinery, tailored by eons of evolution. Wouldn’t it be simpler to try to grasp this machinery, and modify it than to build our own nano-machines?
[IMAGE: Mitosis in vegetal tissue, image source]