Large scale microfluidics-based optimization of synthetic biology_x000D_ circuits and cell reprogramming

01 January 2018 → 31 December 2021
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Biochemistry and metabolism
    • Systems biology
    • Other biological sciences
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Medical biochemistry and metabolism
    • Morphological sciences
    • Medical biochemistry and metabolism
    • Morphological sciences
    • Medical biochemistry and metabolism
    • Morphological sciences
  • Engineering and technology
    • Catalysis and reacting systems engineering
    • Chemical product design and formulation
    • General chemical and biochemical engineering
    • Process engineering
    • Separation and membrane technologies
    • Transport phenomena
    • Other (bio)chemical engineering
protein quantification microfluidics synthetic biology
Project description

The study of biology evolves increasingly to the detailed analysis of a single cell. Massive engineering and analysis of single cells represents the final frontier of biology. Solid technology is now available to study the genomic code of a single cell, as well as the messenger molecules (mRNA) it produces. The analysis of proteins, the actual functional molecules in the cell, lags far behind because of technical hurdles. In this project we will use the technological advances in genome engineering (CRISPR-Cas9) to introduce a label that allows high sensitive quantification of a protein of interest in single cells. This will be realized by cell manipulations in tiny channels on a chip (or microfluidics). More advanced designs of such chips will be used to understand and even create novel protein switches (transcription factors) in human cells to change the cell type (e.g. for the generation of a specific immune cell type). The novel chip system will also be used to quantify the proteins expected from the successful cell engineering, which will represent an unprecedented accuracy and an important advance for synthetic biology. The technology developed will have important implications for advanced cell-based cell therapy for various afflictions, such as diseases related to the immune response.