Engineering microbes with synthetic biology frameworks

Effendi Leonard, David Nielsen, Kevin Solomon, Kristala Jones Prather

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Typically, the outcome of biologically engineered unit operations cannot be controlled a priori due to the incorporation of ad hoc design into complex natural systems. To mitigate this problem, synthetic biology presents a systematic approach to standardizing biological components for the purpose of increasing their programmability and robustness when assembled with the aim to achieve novel biological functions. A complex engineered biological system using only standardized biological components is yet to exist. Nevertheless, current attempts to create and to implement modular, standardized biological components pave the way for the future creation of highly predictable artificial biological systems. Although synthetic biology frameworks can be applied to any biological engineering endeavor, this article will focus on providing a brief overview of advances in the field and its recent utilization for the engineering of microbes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)674-681
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Biotechnology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering


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