IGEM:IMPERIAL/2009/Application Analysis

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Applications analysis - Sunday 19th of July 2009


1) Sun Cream

  • α-tocopherol (vitamin E) in E.coli
  • apply as a sun cream
  • incorporate a Ti02 capsule
  • idea has potential
  • will investigate the pathway proposed

2) Anthocyanins

  • anti-cancer, anti-CVD, anti-O
  • in E.coli - plasmids and cloning steps known
  • not yet encapsulated for use as a drug
  • read references for this one!

3) Biological Battery

  • what is the role of the bacteria?
    • Get them to produce FePO4
    • Something else? MnO2/Mn2+?
  • read references for this one!

Secondary ideas

I) Bacteria that create capsule in response to environmental conditions

  • genetic toggle switch?
  • respond to threshold
  • look into details

II) ACE Inhibitor

  • proteinase in L.helvetius, ferments milk, ACE inhibitory tripeptides
  • sprinkle on cereal/in milk
  • key questions need to be answered before going ahead with this
    • What is the advantage of encapsulation??
    • BioBricks
    • How much milk protein is required?
    • What is the existing delivery method? Any existing trials in humans?

III) Photosensitizer

  • interesting - look more into the science of it
  • use encapsulation for storage?
  • where is the SB?!
  • viability/feasibility???

Dismissed Ideas

I) Bactobottle

  • why wouldn’t you just use a kettle?
  • you can get microwavable hot waterbottles

II) Keratin

  • not to do with want to apply it to
  • no advantages of encapsulation

III) Hypertension

  • why encapsulate the proteinases if they can be found in dry milk?
  • with regards to modularity and Gold medal we need a bunch of Biobricks from this… how? can we create a antihypertension ‘Biobrick’ that we can add to various things?

IV) Biomedicine and bioremediation

  • idea is overdone - exactly what we want to avoid

V) Potential of encapsulation

  • can we do a 'scratch and smell' E.coli? - Done - previous IGEM project

Assigned Tasks

Individual tasks assigned for the selected potential projects on Sunday 19th July.
(Please place research in the individual project pages under the appropriate phase headings).


Dineka Khurmi

Other Ideas 20/7/09

Fairly undeveloped at the moment, will investigate more if interesting

Exfoliating Medicine

Exfoliating is a cosmetic process in which tiny particles are used in a cream or scrub, and when rubbed into the skin will remove dead skin cells from the skin surface. Many products are already available on the market, so definately interesting (£££). Most exfoliating beads are either small beads of plastic e.g. polyethylene (biohazard in environment, does not degrade and can block animals digestive tracts) , or tiny salt crystals. We could use the encapsulation idea to encapsulate our bacteria with some salt to be determined, and could also get the bacteria to produce some medicinal compound beneficial with application to the skin (e.g. moisturiser, anti-wrinkling/aging etc) Chemicals such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid, fruit enzymes, citric acid, or malic acid are used in dermatolical products, and could be used in combination with exfoliant product. Important for treatment of acne. Also used are alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), which partly dissolves the glue between cells, again acne treatment.

Soil fertiliser/antiacid

Calcium carbonate is used to raise the pH of soils and rivers, and is commonly used in agriculture, as well as to counteract the effects of acid rain. Could we combine this beneficial application of CaCO3 along with some other compound production to make a multi-purpose fertiliser. (e.g. using nitrogen fixation bacteria then encapsulate) Obviously would have to decide how this is more effective than having a simple fertiliser/CaCO3 mixture rather than encapsulated bacteria


Just very basic concept at the moment. Similar vein as last years project, could we create CaCO3 or other compound in a specific shape?

Pathogen detector

Concept just came to me recently when thinking about different compound encapsulations.

Magnesium Sulphate and Potassium bitartrate have very sour and bitter tastes respectively. could we combine these with detection of some harmful compound in water as a detection mechanism (e.g. against pathogens/ heavy metals - though obviously some igem teams have used water purification before) I guess this would be a similar thing to scent being added to natural gas so leaks can be smelt. maybe we could use detection of harmful things in food for example?

David Roche

Monday 20th July 2009 - Morning session feedback