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Nat Nanotechnol. 2014 Aug;9(8):605-10. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2014.151. Epub 2014 Jul 27.

Electronic modulation of biochemical signal generation.

Author information

1
1] Fischell Department of Bioengineering, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742, USA [2] Institute for Bioscience &Biotechnology Research, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742, USA.
2
Institute for Bioscience &Biotechnology Research, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742, USA.
3
1] Institute for Systems Research, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742, USA [2] Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742, USA.
4
1] Institute for Systems Research, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742, USA [2] Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742, USA.
5
Division of Analytical Chemistry, Office of Regulatory Science, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, US Food and Drug Administration, College Park, Maryland 20740, USA.

Abstract

Microelectronic devices that contain biological components are typically used to interrogate biology rather than control biological function. Patterned assemblies of proteins and cells have, however, been used for in vitro metabolic engineering, where coordinated biochemical pathways allow cell metabolism to be characterized and potentially controlled on a chip. Such devices form part of technologies that attempt to recreate animal and human physiological functions on a chip and could be used to revolutionize drug development. These ambitious goals will, however, require new biofabrication methodologies that help connect microelectronics and biological systems and yield new approaches to device assembly and communication. Here, we report the electrically mediated assembly, interrogation and control of a multi-domain fusion protein that produces a bacterial signalling molecule. The biological system can be electrically tuned using a natural redox molecule, and its biochemical response is shown to provide the signalling cues to drive bacterial population behaviour. We show that the biochemical output of the system correlates with the electrical input charge, which suggests that electrical inputs could be used to control complex on-chip biological processes.

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PMID:
25064394
DOI:
10.1038/nnano.2014.151
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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