Wearable biosensors enabled by cell-free synthetic biology
Author(s)Nguyen, Peter Q.; Soenksen Martinez, Luis Ruben; Donghia, Nina M.; Angenent-Mari, Nicolaas M.; de Puig Guixe, Helena; Huang, Ally; Lee, Rose; Slomovic, Shimyn; Galbersanini, Tommaso; Lansberry, Geoffrey; Sallum, Hani M.; Zhao, Evan M.; Niemi, James B.; Collins, James J.; ... Show more Show less
Wearable materials with embedded synthetic biology sensors for biomolecule detection
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Integrating synthetic biology into wearables could expand opportunities for noninvasive monitoring of physiological status, disease states and exposure to pathogens or toxins. However, the operation of synthetic circuits generally requires the presence of living, engineered bacteria, which has limited their application in wearables. Here we report lightweight, flexible substrates and textiles functionalized with freeze-dried, cell-free synthetic circuits, including CRISPR-based tools, that detect metabolites, chemicals and pathogen nucleic acid signatures. The wearable devices are activated upon rehydration from aqueous exposure events and report the presence of specific molecular targets by colorimetric changes or via an optical fiber network that detects fluorescent and luminescent outputs. The detection limits for nucleic acids rival current laboratory methods such as quantitative PCR. We demonstrate the development of a face mask with a lyophilized CRISPR sensor for wearable, noninvasive detection of SARS-CoV-2 at room temperature within 90 min, requiring no user intervention other than the press of a button.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Biological Engineering; Institute for Medical Engineering and Science
Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Nguyen, Peter Q. et al. "Wearable materials with embedded synthetic biology sensors for biomolecule detection." Nature Biotechnology (June 2021).
Author's final manuscript