(636b) High-Throughput Tool Development for Protein Materials Expression and Screening | AIChE

(636b) High-Throughput Tool Development for Protein Materials Expression and Screening


Yang, Y. J., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Olsen, B., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Materials composed of recombinant proteins, including polymer-like proteins and protein-polymer conjugates, have incredible promise in a variety of applications including catalysis, sensing, and separations because of their unique combination of binding, enzymatic, and structural properties. As synthetic biology has advanced rapidly, the cost of DNA has decreased dramatically, allowing recombinant protein design to become more accessible. However, to enable protein materials design cycles to proceed in the same vein as polymer-based materials, the expression and characterization of protein materials must transition to high-throughput processes, promoting rapid screening of candidates. In this work, methods to move protein materials into a design-synthesize-test cycle are explored to begin to close this gap. A high-throughput expression platform has been developed using a low-cost liquid handling robot and open-source software to test combinations of strains and plasmids. Reasonable expression conditions can be obtained in under two weeks, and conditions for previously un-expressible proteins have been elucidated. Additionally, high-throughput methods for assessing the binding and transport of targets in biosensors and selective binding membranes have been established. Rapid analysis procedures have been implemented, speeding up the design and redesign processes. Moving toward implementation of these types of protocols will promote the more rapid adoption of protein-based materials in a wide variety of applications.