Welcome to the iGEM Pasteur Paris team 2018 page
Our team is pleased to participate in the competition this year !
Wiki under construction...
Context: why prosthetics and biocompatibility?
In today’s society where equal access to means and opportunities is a priority, disabled citizens need to be given better tools for their daily lives. In this context, prosthetics and implants will become more and more sophisticated and we think it is necessary to develop a system to enhance the interface between the implanted-human and the mechanical component thanks to synthetic biology. One of the main actor obstructing the improvement in this domain is the connection between the nerves and the controllers. In addition, the development of bacterial biofilms on prosthetics or on other implantable devices is a major health risk. Biofilms are tolerated as they can evade the immune system. However, they may become colonized by other organisms such as S. aureus or microscopic fungi. They are responsible for chronic infections with more than 200 000 people in need of re-intervention on their devices just in the USA 1 . Some of the possible remedies include improving of the interface at the nerve or prosthetics junction, and secondly preventing this interface from getting infected by other pathogenic bacteria.
Our project NeuronArch
With NeuronArch, instead of combating the biofilm, we will develop an innovative system by subverting it. To achieve this, we will deliberately coat the implant with a genetically modified lab-grown E. coli that would serve as an interface between the synthetic prosthesis and organic tissues. By doing so, our innovative biofilm would be capable of promoting neural connections. Secondly, it will fight other invasive pathogenic bacteria and reduce the risk of formation of an infectious biofilm. To do so, we will test the capacity of neuronal cells to grow and redirect towards a specific target under the influence of our biofilm. Then, we will test the capacity of our biofilm to diminish an invasive bacterial population in an in vitro culture titration.
Reference 1: Treatment of Infections Associated with Surgical Implants, Darouiche R. New England Journal of Medicine (2004)