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Genes 2018, 9(3), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes9030144

Cell-Free Approaches in Synthetic Biology Utilizing Microfluidics

1
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University (KAU), Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia
2
Biomedical Engineering Program, The American University of Beirut (AUB), Beirut 1107-2020, Lebanon
3
Mathematics and Natural Sciences Department, The American University of Iraq, Sulaimani, Sulaymaniyah 46001, Iraq
4
Faculty of Medicine, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU), 80539 Munich, Germany
5
Faculty of Medicine, Technical University of Munich (TUM), 81675 Munich, Germany
6
Department of Nanobiotechnology, Institute for Synthetic Bioarchitecture, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, 1190 Vienna, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 January 2018 / Revised: 26 February 2018 / Accepted: 28 February 2018 / Published: 6 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From the Lab-on-a-Chip to the Organ-on-a-Chip)
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Abstract

Synthetic biology is a rapidly growing multidisciplinary branch of science which aims to mimic complex biological systems by creating similar forms. Constructing an artificial system requires optimization at the gene and protein levels to allow the formation of entire biological pathways. Advances in cell-free synthetic biology have helped in discovering new genes, proteins, and pathways bypassing the complexity of the complex pathway interactions in living cells. Furthermore, this method is cost- and time-effective with access to the cellular protein factory without the membrane boundaries. The freedom of design, full automation, and mimicking of in vivo systems reveal advantages of synthetic biology that can improve the molecular understanding of processes, relevant for life science applications. In parallel, in vitro approaches have enhanced our understanding of the living system. This review highlights the recent evolution of cell-free gene design, proteins, and cells integrated with microfluidic platforms as a promising technology, which has allowed for the transformation of the concept of bioprocesses. Although several challenges remain, the manipulation of biological synthetic machinery in microfluidic devices as suitable ‘homes’ for in vitro protein synthesis has been proposed as a pioneering approach for the development of new platforms, relevant in biomedical and diagnostic contexts towards even the sensing and monitoring of environmental issues. View Full-Text
Keywords: synthetic biology; microfluidics; de novo gene synthesis; cell-free protein synthesis synthetic biology; microfluidics; de novo gene synthesis; cell-free protein synthesis
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Damiati, S.; Mhanna, R.; Kodzius, R.; Ehmoser, E.-K. Cell-Free Approaches in Synthetic Biology Utilizing Microfluidics. Genes 2018, 9, 144.

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