Marine Sponge Cells In 3D Could Be Used To Develop Novel Drugs

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : January 22, 2022

Many pharmaceutically relevant sponges are only found in trace concentrations within the parent sponge, therefore harvesting enough wild sponge biomass to produce the necessary quantities for clinical drug research and production is neither economical nor environmentally practical.

Marine Sponge Cells In 3D Could Be Used To Develop Novel Drugs

For the first time, sponge science scientists have successfully cultured sponge cells in three dimensions, advancing this cutting-edge study to a new level. In two-dimensional cultivation, cells have various biological and physiological features, and their interactions and functions, which are important in these characteristics, are limited.

Marine Sponge Cells In 3D Could Be Used To Develop Novel Drugs

The new three-dimensional approach more closely resembles how sponge cells work in nature and will aid in the scaling-up of sponge biomass and bioactive metabolite production.

Although in-sea aquaculture of complete sponges, sponge explants, or pieces has been successful for a few species, the inability to manage environmental variables such as extreme weather and toxic algae blooms makes in-sea aquaculture a less desirable biological alternative.

Many hydrogels necessitate high-temperature curing, which is toxic to sponge cells. Sponges have unspecialized cells that can convert into different types and travel between the primary cell layers and the mesohyl.

The neurological, digestive, and circulatory systems are absent in sponges. Instead, most people rely on a steady flow of water through their bodies to get food, oxygen, and waste removal. Sponges are multicellular, heterotrophic, lack cell walls, and produce sperm cells, just like other creatures.

They lack genuine tissues and organs, unlike other creatures. Some are radially symmetrical, but the vast majority are asymmetrical. Their bodies are shaped to maximize the efficiency of water flow into the central cavity, where nutrients are deposited before the water exits through the osculum.

An internal gelatinous matrix known as mesohyl serves as an endoskeleton in most sponges, and it is the only skeleton in soft sponges that encrust hard surfaces like rocks. Mineral spicules, spongin fibers, or both are typically used to strengthen the mesh.

Demosponges have spongin exoskeletons, with silica spicules in several species and calcium carbonate exoskeletons in others. Demosponges make up over ninety percent of all known sponge species, including all freshwater sponges, and they live in the most diverse environments.

Calcareous sponges, which feature calcium carbonate spicules and, in certain species, calcium carbonate exoskeletons, are limited to shallow marine waters where calcium carbonate manufacturing is simplest.

The single-celled choanoflagellates look like sponge choanocyte cells, which power their water flow systems and capture the majority of their food. This, combined with ribosomal molecular phylogenetic research, has been utilized as morphological evidence to imply sponges are the sister group to the rest of the animals.

According to several studies, sponges do not form a monophyletic group, meaning they do not include all offspring of a common ancestor. Humans have employed the rare species of demosponge that have completely soft fibrous skeletons with no hard parts for thousands of years for a variety of uses, including padding and cleaning tools.

The chemicals interact with molecules that have evolved over time and are implicated in human disease processes, such as cell cycling, immunological and inflammatory responses, and calcium and sodium regulation, to name a few. It’s being used to fund ongoing research into the creation of sponge-derived drugs, as well as habitat restoration and other biotechnology uses.

The simplest body form in sponges is asconoid, which has a tube or vase shape that limits the animal’s size. A stalk-like spongocoel is enclosed by a single layer of choanocytes in the body structure.

Exoskeletons are secreted by some sponges that are fully separate from their organic components. Sclerosponges, for example, have huge calcium carbonate exoskeletons over which biological matter forms a thin layer with choanocyte chambers in mineral pits.

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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