A sensing array of radically coupled genetic 'biopixels'.

TitleA sensing array of radically coupled genetic 'biopixels'.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsPrindle A, Samayoa P, Razinkov I, Danino T, Tsimring LS, Hasty J
Date Published2012 Jan 5
KeywordsAmpicillin, Anti-Bacterial Agents, Arsenic, Bacterial Proteins, Biological Clocks, Biosensing Techniques, Catalase, Escherichia coli, Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial, Hydrogen Peroxide, Kanamycin, Liquid Crystals, NADH Dehydrogenase, Oxidation-Reduction, Quorum Sensing, Superoxide Dismutase, Synthetic Biology, Thiourea

Although there has been considerable progress in the development of engineering principles for synthetic biology, a substantial challenge is the construction of robust circuits in a noisy cellular environment. Such an environment leads to considerable intercellular variability in circuit behaviour, which can hinder functionality at the colony level. Here we engineer the synchronization of thousands of oscillating colony 'biopixels' over centimetre-length scales through the use of synergistic intercellular coupling involving quorum sensing within a colony and gas-phase redox signalling between colonies. We use this platform to construct a liquid crystal display (LCD)-like macroscopic clock that can be used to sense arsenic via modulation of the oscillatory period. Given the repertoire of sensing capabilities of bacteria such as Escherichia coli, the ability to coordinate their behaviour over large length scales sets the stage for the construction of low cost genetic biosensors that are capable of detecting heavy metals and pathogens in the field.

PubMed URLhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22178928?dopt=Abstract
Alternate JournalNature
PubMed ID22178928