The engineering of biological systems with predictable behavior is currently a challenging problem. A major reason for this difficulty is the complexity found in cells acting as a chassis to engineered biological systems and the numerous interactions between the chassis and system. To make the future engineering of biological systems easier, we are designing a standard interface between an engineered biological system and its host cell or "chassis".
An optimal design of the chassis/system interface should decouple system function from chassis function, such that newly designed systems perform as predicted first time with less need for iterative design. With a standardized and specified chassis/system interface any system will function in any chassis containing the same standard interface.
We are implementing a standard chassis/system interface using an orthogonal protein synthesis channel. This orthogonal channel uses T7 RNA polymerase (RNAP) and mutant ribosomes to transcribe and translate coding regions and open reading frames that are not recognized by E. coli RNAP and ribosomes.