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SynBio Forum: New Sensors for Living Systems - Karen Polizzi

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SynBio Forum with George Malliaras and Karen Polizzi

This term’s SynBio Forum will focus on biosensors and their applications; from neuroscience to pharmaceuticals. We have two very exciting speakers who will discuss the use of organic electronic materials and genetically encoded sensors in bioscience research. As usual, the talks will be followed by a dinner buffet and drinks reception. Be sure to reserve your spot!

Putting the ‘Bio’ Back in Biosensing

Karen Polizzi, Reader in Biotechnology, Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London

What are in vivo biosensors? Most classical biosensors (like those used in blood sugar monitoring) rely on electrochemistry to convert the concentration of a molecule of interest into a digital display. However, there are a whole class of biosensors that are entirely genetically-encoded either by fusing a transcriptional element that detects the molecule of interest to a reporter protein like GFP or through proteins that have the ability to sense the molecule and convert the concentration into an output. These genetically-encoded sensors are convenient tools for monitoring what is going on inside living cells since they don’t require the addition of exogenous reagents or abiotic elements. We use sensors like these to monitor cellular behaviour under different conditions. They can be used in conjunction with external stimuli (e.g. changing medium cells are fed) to control cellular behaviour.

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This talk is part of the Engineering Biology Interdisciplinary Research Centre series.

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