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Cell-free synthetic biology for combinatorial biosensor design

Recent advances in the field of synthetic biology offer an unprecedented opportunity for next-generation biosensors characterized by programmability, low-cost and by a sensitivity and specificity unmet by conventional sensors. Leveraging the rich toolset of synthetic biology, we can now not only build better biosensors but also analytical tools that can sense and discern complex analyte profiles, such as a panel of biomarkers indicative of a certain disease status. These cell-free biosensors developed within the SYNSENSO research program will be transformative for many domains of research and innovation, ranging from in-vitro diagnostics to health, environmental and bioprocess monitoring. Our ambition is to provide a game change in biosensing by combining cell-free synthetic biology with molecular sensor design. The SYNSENSO European doctoral network focuses on the construction of novel programmable ligand-responsive elements and the construction of cell-free computing circuits that can integrate molecular signals from those elements. Together the two components will make up the next generation of combinatorial biosensors that can sense signals and compute a response to them. SYNSENSO aims for a modular approach where different responsive elements can be composed with different computing circuits enabling fast construction of suitable sensors for new application domains. SYNSENSO brings together academic and industry leaders from the fields of synthetic biology, molecular sensor design and DNA nanotechnology. Our industry partners will provide a unique ecosystem for ten doctoral candidates of this network. Together with the external advisory board including experts from medical diagnostics they will work on concrete case studies for clinically relevant analytes. The SYNSENSO training program will empower them to perform world-class research and become academic or industry leaders in this new emerging field at the intersection of synthetic biology and biosensors.

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Velia Siciliano
Velia Siciliano
Synthetic and Systems Biology for Biomedicine
Total budget: 259.437,60€
Total contribution: 259.437,60€