Artificial cells are prepared in the laboratory for medical and biotechnological applications. Encapsulated cells are being studied for the treatment of diabetes, liver failure, and other conditions. More recently, there have been extensive studies into the use of encapsulated genetically engineered cells for gene therapy. We recently found that daily orally administered artificial cells, each containing a genetically engineered microorganism, can lower the elevated urea level in uremic rats to normal levels. This may solve the final obstacle of the lack of an effective oral urea removal system for the simple and inexpensive oral treatment of uremia. This is important because 85% of the world's uremic population cannot afford standard dialysis. Other areas of artificial cell application include use in hemoperfusion. Red blood cell substitutes based on modified hemoglobin are already in Phase 3 clinical trials in patients. Artificial cells containing enzymes are being developed for clinical trial in hereditary enzyme deficiency disease and other diseases. They are also being investigated for drug delivery and for use in other applications in biotechnology, chemical engineering, and medicine.