28 January 2011

Sheffield students engineer E-coli biosensor

The multidisciplinary University of Sheffield team for the 2010 International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition, including including ACSE student Ms Narmada Herath, has won a Bronze medal for a project to engineer an E-coli biosensor.

The project was presented at the iGEM Championship Jamboree at MIT in November 2010. iGEM is the prime undergraduate Synthetic Biology competition held at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) every year. Participants design and implement biological systems comprised of interchangeable parts and these designs are validated by modelling and simulation.

As a means of exploring the concept of pathogen detection in water, the team engineered an E-coli biosensor that indicates the presence of vibrio cholera in water. Mathematical models were developed and deterministic and stochastic simulations were carried out in MATLAB to determine the response time of the system. A Graphical User Interface (GUI) was also created to allow user-friendly analysis of the system.

The Sheffield University iGEM Team 2010