Paper-based synthetic gene networks

Keith Pardee, Alexander A. Green, Tom Ferrante, D. Ewen Cameron, Ajay Daleykeyser, Peng Yin, James J. Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

353 Scopus citations

Abstract

Synthetic gene networks have wide-ranging uses in reprogramming and rewiring organisms. To date, there has not been a way to harness the vast potential of these networks beyond the constraints of a laboratory or in vivo environment. Here, we present an in vitro paper-based platform that provides an alternate, versatile venue for synthetic biologists to operate and a much-needed medium for the safe deployment of engineered gene circuits beyond the lab. Commercially available cell-free systems are freeze dried onto paper, enabling the inexpensive, sterile, and abiotic distribution of synthetic-biology-based technologies for the clinic, global health, industry, research, and education. For field use, we create circuits with colorimetric outputs for detection by eye and fabricate a low-cost, electronic optical interface. We demonstrate this technology with small-molecule and RNA actuation of genetic switches, rapid prototyping of complex gene circuits, and programmable in vitro diagnostics, including glucose sensors and strain-specific Ebola virus sensors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)940-954
Number of pages15
JournalCell
Volume159
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 6 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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