Electronic signals are electrogenetically relayed to control cell growth and co-culture composition.

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TitleElectronic signals are electrogenetically relayed to control cell growth and co-culture composition.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsStephens, K, Zakaria, FRahma, VanArsdale, E, Payne, GF, Bentley, WE
JournalMetab Eng Commun
Volume13
Paginatione00176
Date Published2021 Dec
ISSN2214-0301
Abstract

There is much to be gained by enabling electronic interrogation and control of biological function. While the benefits of bioelectronics that rely on potential-driven ionic flows are well known (electrocardiograms, defibrillators, neural prostheses, etc) there are relatively few advances targeting nonionic molecular networks, including genetic circuits. Redox activities combine connectivity to electronics with the potential for specific genetic control in cells. Here, electrode-generated hydrogen peroxide is used to actuate an electrogenetic "relay" cell population, which interprets the redox cue and synthesizes a bacterial signaling molecule (quorum sensing autoinducer AI-1) that, in turn, signals increased growth rate in a second population. The dramatically increased growth rate of the second population is enabled by expression of a phosphotransferase system protein, HPr, which is important for glucose transport. The potential to electronically modulate cell growth via direct genetic control will enable new opportunities in the treatment of disease and manufacture of biological therapeutics and other molecules.

DOI10.1016/j.mec.2021.e00176
Alternate JournalMetab Eng Commun
PubMed ID34194997
PubMed Central IDPMC8233222