Team:Virginia United




Quorum Sensing Amplifiers and a Co-design Approach for Information Processing

As the field of biological engineering grows, so too does the complexity of genetically engineered systems. Fabricated metabolic pathways are becoming increasingly intricate and expansive: how is one to know if the approach used to synthesize a pathway is necessarily the best approach? Our group, composed of five institutions, strives to show that co-design, a common engineering practice used to evaluate relative efficiencies, can be implemented to select the best design for a system. Using a biosensor as an application of carrying out co-design, we constructed three systems utilizing different mechanisms that can detect inputs and give an output correlating to which input(s) it senses. To maintain consistency, our systems are designed to use quorum sensing to amplify signal transduction upon input detection. This essentially acts as an on/off switch, allowing the system to be engineered to detect a certain input threshold and establishing a binary response.