Synthetic Biosystems Laboratory (SBL) at UNAM led by Dr. Urartu Özgür Şafak Şeker has been utilizing the synthetic biology tools to program cells for innovative applications. Specifically, their research involves for programming bacteria to carry out logic operations and computations to deliver therapeutically important proteins in disease conditions or controlling assembly of nanobiomaterials.
The most recently, one of their works was published in Advanced Materials (in the September 26 issue), one of the top journals in the material related areas. This article reports SBL’s success in controlling the genetic conditions within bacteria to create patterns using protein polymers called biofilm proteins. Dr. Şeker and his group created AND and OR logic gates using advanced genetic engineering tools and using this system, they are able to control the secretion of different proteins with distinct biochemical properties to control the assembly of polymeric proteins. This work is a part of the on-going efforts of SBL on making cells that, it is hoped, can be used for hard and soft tissue regeneration in near future.