iGEM Valencia Lighting Cell Display (iLCD)

The iGEM Valencia Lighting Cell Display (iLCD) is our project for the present iGEM competition. We plan to control cell behaviour whith an electrical stimulous. Our intention is to develop a new field in synthetic biology: BioElectronics. To demostrate that this is possible we try to make a “bio-screen” of voltage-activated cells, where every “cellular pixel” produces light. Using electrical signals instead of chemical stimulation, as in the Coliroid project (Levskaya et al, Synthetic biology: Engineering Escherichia coli to see light. Nature 438, 441-442), we will be able to see animated pictures!

Engineered yeasts that are able to sense and respond to electrical signals will be used. We will design an electronic device which allows the cooperative work of all the cells in such a way that they will be able to reproduce an image in movement, building up a "bio-screen" for the first time in history.


We are also going to reflect on the perception that different groups of people, from a variety of educational levels and professional areas, have of Synthetic Biology. For this reason, we have made a survey that has already finished that we are sure will be of interest.

Is important to note that iLCD will be a major advance in Synthetic Biology, opening the field of BioElectronics, integrating electrical signals with cell behaviours. Furthermore, this will reduce the response time of the cells to the activation signal by up to two orders of magnitude, as well as foster the combination of Electronics and Biology.

In resume, we have two objectives: control cell behaviour whith electrical stimulous and reduce the time of response respect a previous projects.