Team:UNC Chapel Hill/Project


Revision as of 14:00, 24 May 2009 by Sekark (Talk | contribs)

Right now we're still in the planning stages of the project. This will be updated soon!

Potential Ideas

  1. A glucose detector (blood sugar meter).

This bacteria would display varying phenotypes (such as colors) based on the sugar content of the surrounding medium. The goal would be to create something sensitive to the range of blood sugar concentrations commonly experienced by diabetics. Taking this to the next level, the bacteria could produce insulin when sugar concentration is high or glucagon when sugar concentration is low. I envision utilizing some kind of negative feedback loop like Tokyo Tech used in 2008.

    -Matt Larson 5/22
  1. A lactose detector

I know this sounds very similar to project 1. However, the basic setup should be easier. The lac operon has been extensively studied and is very well defined. It would be fairly easy to add in GFP as a sensor. This part of the project would not take long to complete and would not require any new biobrick parts. With this device built as a reference, we can easily design a protocol for the characterization of new biobrick parts. For example, a "blank" space (like those defined by Virginia in 2008) could be used in initial device assembly in place of the ribosome binding site in front of the GFP protein. From here, a number of different ribosome binding sites could be inserted. Theoretically, the fluorescence intensity of the GFP should be in some way proportional to the efficiency of the inserted ribosome binding site. Mathematical models could be developed relating fluorescence intensity to efficiency and programs could be developed. Almost any biobrick part could be characterized using this method. Also, it should be noted that quantifying fluorescence intensity is an active area in research and this project could have many applications down the road.

    -Matt Larson 5/22
  1. Blood clotting

Bacteria could produce proteins involved in the clotting process. I haven't given this one as much thought, but as far as I can see we would have to create new biobrick parts to code for clotting proteins among other things. I would suggest focusing on proteins that are deficient in different types of hemophilia, such as Factor VIII or factor IX.