Northwestern University researchers launch iPROBE platform

June 22, 2020 |

In Illinois, Northwestern University synthetic biologists have developed a new rapid-prototyping system to accelerate the design of biological systems, reducing the time to produce sustainable biomanufacturing products from months to weeks.

The new platform, called in vitro Prototyping and Rapid Optimization of Biosynthetic Enzymes (iPROBE), provides a quick and powerful design-build-test framework to discover optimal biosynthetic pathways for cellular metabolic engineering that could impact a range of industries (or issues) from clean energy to consumer products.

iPROBE bypasses the limitations of engineering living organisms using cell-free protein synthesis to enrich biosynthetic enzymes in test tubes to carry out transformations. Combined with computational design algorithms developed by Lockheed Martin, the system rapidly studies pathway enzyme ratios, tuning individual enzymes in the context of the desired multi-step pathway, screening for high-performance enzymes, and discovering enzymes with optimal functionalities.

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Category: Research

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