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Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2016 Oct 1;105(Pt A):35-43. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2016.04.006. Epub 2016 Apr 18.

Synthetic biology platform technologies for antimicrobial applications.

Author information

1
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215, USA.
2
Institute for Medical Engineering & Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
3
Institute for Medical Engineering & Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA; Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA; Synthetic Biology Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA; Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA; Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA. Electronic address: jimjc@mit.edu.

Abstract

The growing prevalence of antibiotic resistance calls for new approaches in the development of antimicrobial therapeutics. Likewise, improved diagnostic measures are essential in guiding the application of targeted therapies and preventing the evolution of therapeutic resistance. Discovery platforms are also needed to form new treatment strategies and identify novel antimicrobial agents. By applying engineering principles to molecular biology, synthetic biologists have developed platforms that improve upon, supplement, and will perhaps supplant traditional broad-spectrum antibiotics. Efforts in engineering bacteriophages and synthetic probiotics demonstrate targeted antimicrobial approaches that can be fine-tuned using synthetic biology-derived principles. Further, the development of paper-based, cell-free expression systems holds promise in promoting the clinical translation of molecular biology tools for diagnostic purposes. In this review, we highlight emerging synthetic biology platform technologies that are geared toward the generation of new antimicrobial therapies, diagnostics, and discovery channels.

KEYWORDS:

Antimicrobial therapeutics; Bacteriophage; Paper-based diagnostics; Riboregulator; Synthetic biology; Synthetic gene networks; Synthetic probiotics; Toehold switch

PMID:
27089812
DOI:
10.1016/j.addr.2016.04.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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