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Genetically Engineered Bacterial Biohybrid Microswimmers for Sensing Applications

1
Department of Molecular Biotechnology, Institute für Mikrobiologie, Technische Universität Dresden, 01217 Dresden, Germany
2
Department of General Microbiology, Institute für Mikrobiologie, Technische Universität Dresden, 01217 Dresden, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2020, 20(1), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20010180
Received: 21 November 2019 / Revised: 17 December 2019 / Accepted: 23 December 2019 / Published: 28 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro- and Nanomotors for Sensing)
Bacterial biohybrid microswimmers aim at exploiting the inherent motion capabilities of bacteria (carriers) to transport objects (cargoes) at the microscale. One of the most desired properties of microswimmers is their ability to communicate with their immediate environment by processing the information and producing a useful response. Indeed, bacteria are naturally equipped with such communication skills. Hereby, two-component systems (TCSs) represent the key signal transducing machinery and enable bacteria to sense and respond to a variety of stimuli. We engineered a natural microswimmer based on the Gram-positive model bacterium Bacillus subtilis for the development of biohybrids with sensing abilities. B. subtilis naturally adhered to silica particles, giving rise to different motile biohybrids systems with variable ratios of carrier(s)-to-cargo(es). Genetically engineered TCS pathways allowed us to couple the binding to the inert particles with signaling the presence of antibiotics in their surroundings. Activation of the antibiotic-induced TCSs resulted in fluorescent bacterial carriers as a response readout. We demonstrate that the genetically engineered TCS-mediated signaling capabilities of B. subtilis allow for the custom design of bacterial hybrid microswimmers able to sense and signal the presence of target molecules in the environment. The generally recognized as safe (GRAS) status of B. subtilis makes it a promising candidate for human-related applications of these novel biohybrids. View Full-Text
Keywords: bacterial biohybrid microswimmers; sensing; two-component system; fluorescence readout; GRAS; Bacillus subtilis bacterial biohybrid microswimmers; sensing; two-component system; fluorescence readout; GRAS; Bacillus subtilis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sun, Z.; Popp, P.F.; Loderer, C.; Revilla-Guarinos, A. Genetically Engineered Bacterial Biohybrid Microswimmers for Sensing Applications. Sensors 2020, 20, 180. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20010180

AMA Style

Sun Z, Popp PF, Loderer C, Revilla-Guarinos A. Genetically Engineered Bacterial Biohybrid Microswimmers for Sensing Applications. Sensors. 2020; 20(1):180. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20010180

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sun, Zhiyong, Philipp F. Popp, Christoph Loderer, and Ainhoa Revilla-Guarinos. 2020. "Genetically Engineered Bacterial Biohybrid Microswimmers for Sensing Applications" Sensors 20, no. 1: 180. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20010180

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