Synthetic Microbes as Biosensors: From the Lab Bench to the Bedside

A special issue of Life (ISSN 2075-1729). This special issue belongs to the section "Synthetic Biology and Systems Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2024) | Viewed by 115

Special Issue Editor

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Guest Editor
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
Interests: biosensors; inflammation; inflammatory bowel disease; ingestible diagnostic devices; in situ biomolecular detection; microbiome; ingestible materials; living materials; synthetic biology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Naturally, cells sense external stimuli in their environment as a means to adapt and survive. Living biosensors that can detect and locate diseases early at the origin of their development would be transformative for handling human illnesses in the future. Advances in synthetic biology tools are leading the way for engineering living cells as biosensors, taking advantage of their natural information-processing abilities and rewiring this capability for environmental monitoring, disease diagnostics and therapy, and bioproduction. Living biosensors are living cells genetically engineered to detect the presence or concentration of a biological analyte of interest. To date, successful living biosensors have been developed in the laboratory allowing for non-invasive, cost-effective and portable prototypes with high sensitivity and specificity to diagnose disease and then treat it in a controlled fashion. By rewiring the signaling pathways in these natural systems, new diagnostic and therapeutic systems have been built to sense biomarkers associated with inflammatory, immunologic and metabolic disorders, some of which have already progressed into clinical trials to gain regulatory approval. However, there are still many challenges in the process.

In this Special Issue, we provide an overview of ongoing efforts in biosensor design, including the current state of the tools, and highlight translational opportunities and discuss challenges for enabling sense-and-respond precision medicines.

Dr. María Eugenia Inda
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • diagnosis
  • synthetic biology
  • bioengineering
  • living cells
  • personalized medicine
  • therapeutics

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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