(276d) Toward Practical Applications of Synthetic Biology: Part Mining to Construction of Programmable Cells

Moon, T. S., Washington University in St. Louis
Shopera, T., Washington University in St. Louis
Immethun, C., Washington University in St. Louis
Henson, W. R., Washington University in St. Louis

The past decade has witnessed the power of synthetic biology in the creation of synthetic devices and systems that help to understand complex biological systems.  However, its potential for real-world applications has not been fully exploited.  One of its promising applications is the construction of programmable cells that are able to integrate multiple environmental signals and to implement synthetic control over biological processes. Here, we harness a toolbox of genetic parts from bacteria to construct genetic circuits. To this end, genetic parts have been recruited from various organisms and assembled into genetic devices, which were characterized using fluorescent proteins as outputs. Our programmable cells contain environmental sensors to distinguish various conditions and multi-input logic programs with genetic memory to generate the output only when the user-defined conditions are met. We will present progress on the construction of such engineered cells toward practical applications, such as disease prevention and chemical production.