The objective: Binding viruses to designer ViroCatcher cells that cannot support viral replication to diagnose, attenuate, and prevent infection. What we intended to do: (1) Make our designer cell safe, (2) Express specific cell surface receptors and antibodies to catch the virus, (3) Transduce the signal after viruses attached for feedback control, and (4) Remove the viruses along with ViroCatcher itself. Anticipated results: the ViroCatcher is made safe for the bloodstream. When it is injected into the bloodstream, our ViroCatcher passively lies around letting viruses attach to it by using its 4 receptors: CD4 (for HIV), Integrin (for various viruses), Sialic Acid (for Influenza), and Antibodies (for Influenza). After enough viruses attach to it, or after a certain amount of time elapses, it removes itself from the bloodstream by calling macrophages to eat it up.
- Our design was split into 4 parts:
- Designing the chassis
- Attaching receptors to catch the virus
- Signal Transduction after viruses attach
- Removal of the ViroCatcher itself and the virus
Our subteams for experimentation and research were split in this manner:
- Safe E. coli: Making our machine safe.
- Cellular receptors
- CD4 (HIV)
- Integrin (various)
- Sialic Acid (Influenza)
- Antibodies (specific)
- Signal Transduction