lunes, 10 de noviembre de 2014

Paper-Based Synthetic Gene Networks: Cell

Paper-Based Synthetic Gene Networks: Cell

Paper-Based Synthetic Gene Networks


  • A stable, sterile, and abiotic paper-based platform for synthetic biology
  • Enables rapid prototyping for cell-based research and gene circuit design
  • Extends laboratory capabilities out of the lab and into the field
  • Small-molecule and RNA sensors, including strain-specific Ebola virus sensors


Synthetic gene networks have wide-ranging uses in reprogramming and rewiring organisms. To date, there has not been a way to harness the vast potential of these networks beyond the constraints of a laboratory or in vivo environment. Here, we present an in vitro paper-based platform that provides an alternate, versatile venue for synthetic biologists to operate and a much-needed medium for the safe deployment of engineered gene circuits beyond the lab. Commercially available cell-free systems are freeze dried onto paper, enabling the inexpensive, sterile, and abiotic distribution of synthetic-biology-based technologies for the clinic, global health, industry, research, and education. For field use, we create circuits with colorimetric outputs for detection by eye and fabricate a low-cost, electronic optical interface. We demonstrate this technology with small-molecule and RNA actuation of genetic switches, rapid prototyping of complex gene circuits, and programmable in vitro diagnostics, including glucose sensors and strain-specific Ebola virus sensors.
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