Saturday 16 January 2021
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Design of a microchip-based biosensor, illustrating the potential of combining synthetic biology with the features of microdevices

Synthetic biology is an emerging discipline in biological research that aims to create novel behavior in organisms by applying engineering principles to biological systems. The synthetic biology approach for the engineering of micro-organisms relies on assembling biological parts each performing a specific biological function into a new biological circuit. Synthetic biology is expected to have a great impact which is demonstrated by recently developed alternative energy resources and novel therapeutics, both based on the engineering of micro-organisms. Developments along the synthetic biology approach will also give rise to new whole-cell biosensors based on cells with new detection circuits, transduction circuits and reporter genes. In addition, the multidisciplinarity of synthetic biology can be further exploited by combining the synthetic biology approach with the features of microelectronics and microfluidics, which will give rise to new miniaturized biosensor devices. This talk will illustrate the potential of integrating microbiology with microdevices by discussing the development of a new biological part that allows transfer of information from bacteria to microchips by means of electrical signalling.