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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/H04986X/1
Title: Engineering a semi-biotic immune system
Principal Investigator: Tavassoli, Professor A
Other Investigators:
Soyer, Professor O Yin, Dr H Miller, Professor AF
Kontoravdi, Dr C Huang, Dr W
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: School of Chemistry
Organisation: University of Southampton
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 August 2010 Ends: 31 January 2016 Value (£): 1,031,745
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Synthetic biology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Healthcare Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
12 Feb 2010 Engineering Challenges in Synthetic Biology Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Synthetic biology is an emerging field that aims to engineer biological systems by utilising engineering principles, analytical technologies and increasing understanding from biological research. Some of the successes in this young field include bacterial production of the anti-malaria drug artemisinin and generation of significant private funding for basic research. We wish to move developments in Synthetic Biology from simple components towards integrated systems with higher functionalities. Specifically, our long-term goal is to design and fabricate a semi-biotic immune device. At its core, the device will use a consortium of engineered bacteria, composed of a group of detectors that monitor the host for signals of disease onset and responders, that await signals from the detecting bacteria, before initiating the production and release of the relevant small molecule treatment. The engineered bacteria will be interfaced with traditional electronic components that oversee, record and transmit the status of the unit. We envisage that this device will enable individual-specific, rapid and autonomic therapeutic intervention at the early stages of disease.
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Organisation Website: http://www.soton.ac.uk