Biomolecular Circuits for Rapid Detection and Response to Environmental Events

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This project funded by the ARO Institute for Collaborative Biotechnology, an Army University Affiliated Research Center (UARC)

Current participants:

  • James Parkin (PhD student, BE)
  • Andrey Shur (PhD student, BE)

Additional participants:

  • Andrew Halleran (PhD student, BE)

Previous participants:

  • Emzo de los Santos (PhD student, BE → U. Warwick)
  • Dan Siegal (-Gaskins) (postdoc, BE → Schafer Corp)*

Objectives

Icb13-synbio.png

The goal of this project is to develop a set of biomolecular circuit modules for detecting molecular events that can be interconnected to create biological devices capable of monitoring the local environment around a cell, detecting and remembering complex temporal patterns, and triggering a response. We will build on previous ICB-supported work in design of biomolecular feedback circuits for modular, robust and rapid response, including design of proteins with programmable modulation of activity, design of domain-based scaffolds for programmable sensing and computa- tion, and development of forced response testing for signal response and robustness to environmental conditions. We will also exploit ongoing activities (funded by DARPA) in the development of biomolecular breadboards for proto- typing and debugging of biomolecular circuits.

Specific objectives for this project include:

  • Demonstrate individual components for signal detection, event memory, species comparison and basic logical operation in a mutually compatible set of technologies.
  • Demonstrate a simple set of event detectors that trigger expression of a protein (reporter or enzyme) for the conditions “A > B” and “A followed by B”.
  • Demonstrate the ability to interconnect individual event detectors to monitor the environment for more complex temporal patterns

References



  • Agency: Army Research Office
  • Grant number:
  • Start date: 1 Dec 2013
  • End date: 30 Nov 2018
  • Support: ~2 graduate students + supplies
  • Reporting: annual reports due in June