Team:UCL London/Project/Description


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“Stress Light!”

Our project is aiming to produce a series of biosensors which can improve the traditional mechanical measurements in bio-processing by using the different fluorescent proteins as indicators of different stresses for bacteria during the bio-processing, particularly on oxygen level, acetate production/concentration, shear stress, and cell growth phase. Different stressful conditions will be coupled to trascription of different detectable molecules (GPF, CFP, YFP, RFP).

Experiments are based on manipulating E.coli cells. Standard parts from the registry are being joined with different promoters from natural/modified E.coli genome, or alternatively response mechanisms from other organisms, which respond to lower oxygen levels, increasing acetate concentrations, mis-folding proteins, and cell growth. The modified standard plasmids are then transformed into E.coli W3110 cells for subsequent investigation in both wet lab and fermentation processes. Once the individual operons are functioning well, related operons can be assembled as a cassette for detection of a range of stresses for bacteria.

Although biosensors are now widely used in synthetic biology area, what make our project unique is that we focus on the ‘feeling’ of bacteria themselves. Detecting why a bacteria is not growing well or dying and with that knowledge change a parameter to make them happier can enable the bacterias to manufacture a lot more useful bioproducts for us humans.

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