Biomedical Applications of Synthetic Biology

Medical Diagnostics at the present time needs a more efficient effort to enhance our capabilities in many domains of healthcare like early diagnosis of a disease. This can be achieved by the use of innovative solutions that are driven by current-day technologies. Earlier, Before the genomic era, the solutions were based on rational and synthetic approaches but with the changing times and through the transition to clinics it now needs synergy of various engineering principles like actuators and sensors for example.

These innovative solutions have increased the rate of patient survival, also decreased cost considerably and to an extent has also been effective in reducing the spread of diseases. This has been achieved successfully with the help of synthetic biology which relies heavily on continuous cycles of short design to production. Synthetic biology is a domain that is based on the construction and the design of various devices as well as systems that cannot be obtained through Wildlife.

Additionally, it works by making use of former biological systems in order to perform specific functions.

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synthetic biology devices can increase the efficiency of molecular diagnostics through gene circuits. This paper Is focused on how we can make synthetic biology the future of medicine. This field is shifting towards in vivo- diagnostics which can provide Instantaneous and efficient monitoring of some pathological conditions. We have also focused on a few emerging technologies which have resulted in giving remarkable specificity as well as sensitivity on detecting pathogens. They are CRISPR-based biosensors and synthetic RNA-based Biosensors as well as through a technology that is based on how a system can sense viral derived sequences.

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These technologies can directly help the patient, as well as clinical laboratory and its results, are very promising.

Keywords: Innovative solutions, Rational approaches, Synthetic biology, CRISPR


The introduction of the sector of synthetic biology close to the term of millennia was supported by life-changing submission of the engineering way – then largely foreign to the unit and the biological science – may be well familiar with studying of a cellular system and to ease their control over the useful ends. Currently, over a decade previous, artificial biology experienced tidy extension in the scope, assumption, and product, and is extensively known as the branch of biological study[1].In several outlooks, the root of the sector throughout the first decade of existent has become irregular with the sessions of the important progression paired by events of inertia as a style attempts are enforced to reorient once resisted with the quality volatility of engineering within the living cells[2].

Even though a concept still can’t seem to be attained on an exact meaning of synthetic biology, the utilization of biological science devices and strategies to advance designer cell conduct has risen as an expansive character for the field, and a lot of regular building approaches and research center practices have created, alongside with an energetic network culture. A great part of the fundamental work in the field was completed in the model microbe species Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and these microbial frameworks stay focal in a few central territories of the field, including complicated circuit style, metabolic designing, negligible genome development and cell-based helpful techniques[3].

The foundations of synthetic biology can be followed to a milestone distribution by Francois Jacob and Jacques Monod in 1961. Bits of knowledge from their investigation of the lac operon in E. coli drove them to set the presence of administrative circuits that support the reaction of a cell to its condition[4]. The capacity to amass new administrative frameworks from atomic segments was before long imagined, however it was not until the sub-atomic subtleties of transcriptional guideline in microscopic organisms were revealed in resulting years that a progressively solid vision, in light of modified quality articulation, started to come to fruition.

Definition: Synthetic Biology (also called as, Synthetic Genomics, Synbio, Constructive Biology or Systems Biology) – the plan and the development of ongoing organic components, gadgets and frameworks that don’t exist inside the untamed life and furthermore the structure of existing natural frameworks to perform explicit assignments. Advances in nanoscale machineries control of issue at the sum and atoms square measure causative to progress in synthetic biology.

The most recent decades can be viewed as the graphic period of molecular science that allowed the approach of engineered science. Synthetic biology has become a study of organizing natural issues in a balanced way also, precise way to accomplish control on vitality and data preparing through traditional designing techniques: normalization, a progressive reflection of intricacy, and measured quality[6]. It gives a strategy to misuse the huge collection of biomolecular segments produced by advancement, at last examining the structure of symmetrical natural frameworks intentionally. Standard natural parts are classified in open libraries dependent on quantitative information, empowering the decoupling of biotechnological creation from the structure. This in turns brings down the expense, abbreviates the improvement to creation procedure, and builds the scale of the natural plan while incorporating vigor and unwavering quality particulars.

Through the crystal of data innovations, it has provoked the designing of organic control circuits, for example, manufactured quality and biochemical systems to program explicit groupings of activity in vivo or in vitro. This was outlined in the early achievement of different hereditary modules: sensors, switches, oscillators, counters, cell-cell correspondence, or biomolecular Boolean rationale[7]. These advances are continually increased regarding scale with, for example, computerized plan of simple/computerized data preparing and capacity frameworks or metabolic pathways toward bioproduction of manufactured biomaterials, biofuels, and biomolecules. As of late, extensive advances have allowed the development of clinical manufactured science. The most surprising case of progress concerns antibody creation, amalgamation methodologies for high-esteem medications, for example, artemisinin, manufactured narcotics, or novel anti-microbial, just as clinical biomaterials, quality conveyance devices, control of parasite vectors, or a tremendous scope of confirmation of-idea restorative smart cells.

Biomedical Applications of Synthetic Biology

Synthetic biology is one of the emerging field and it has many applications in the field of biotechnology. Synthetic biology is a blend of engineering tools and biology. Few engineering tools such as genome engineering and metabolic engineering are used to modify the functions of the organism. A thin line of difference exists between synthetic biology and genome editing. Synthetic biology focuses on implementing a new function or modifying the whole organism for new purpose. The recent advancements in synthetic biology aids in better understanding of diseases and their mechanisms which is the driving path for the production of drugs. Biomedical applications of synthetic biology involve understanding disease mechanisms, developing synthetic devices for diagnosing diseases and production of therapeutics such as secondary metabolites and also production of vaccines commercially.

Comprehension of Disease Mechanism

Synthetic biology has been useful in giving robotic bits of knowledge into certain human issues such as developing mechanical devices to incorporate into humans. Specifically, it gave a system to producing disease models and finding new medication targets. One simple approach in understanding the disease mechanism is by screening the diseased person genes and sequencing it to identify the defective genes. These genes are reconstituted on synthetically developed organisms. This approach is used in understanding agammaglobulinemia caused due to abnormal B cell development (7). Most viruses are used synthesized because of their short genome sizes but scientists have succeeded in producing bacteria and fungi synthetically. Synthetically developed organisms such as bacteriophages can detect self-antigens which helps identify auto-immune diseases. Some genome editing tools are ZFN(Zinc finger nucleases), CRISPR/Cas9(clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats in combination with Cas9 nucleases) TALENS(Transcription activator-like nucleases),systems are used to develop disease models.

These genome-altering tools for the most part work by presenting a succession of specific twofold strand break and is fixed by either error-prone homologous recombination (HR) or nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) pathways. NHEJ knocks out gene of interest whereas HR replaces the gene segment or knock-in of site-specific genes. In view of their outstanding exactness and relative straightforwardness in planning, TALENs and CRISPR/Cas9 devices have been significant in designing disease models for complicated diseases such as cancer and discovery of drug targets. Certain diseases have been connected to chromosomal modifications and give an extraordinary test to illness demonstrating. While knocking-in or coexpression of modified qualities is conceivable, these models are regularly unconvincing in pinpointing the specific commitment of the adjustments. One of the examples is the use of pair of TALENS for AR (Androgen Receptor) gene in a disease model called CRPC (castration-resistant prostate cancer(9).

It is surely known that synthetically evolved disease models are extremely helpful in understanding numerous mind-boggling infections and their systems. These disease models are significant for lead revelation or identifying target molecules. Genome altering devices assume a significant job in structuring these ailment models and furthermore accommodating for reconstructing of the defective genes. This approach of infection displaying utilizing engineered science assists with understanding many complex diseases in the future and furthermore helps in discovering drug targets and contribute in immunization advancement.

Disease Diagnosis Using Synthetic Biology

Living beings are critical thinking biomolecular machines that perform ultrasensitive and explicit reactions to an immense scope of biochemical signs. Those are self-sorting out and self-ruling and can work in complex organic settings at all scales. This mechanism of sensing is used to develop biosensors using synthetic biology. These devices are comprised of sensors, processors, and a reporter. These devices respond to any event that occurs at the surface and emits a signal. Detected signals can be related with explicit sign handling operations which are known as a detector in these engineered circuits, which can incorporate clinical information to arrange tolerant conditions into clinical classes. The processor module can be modified for multiplexed identification of neurotic signs as indicated by different clinical choice principles.

Engineered frameworks can be efficiently and quickly customized to incorporate shifting clinical requirements, rising pathologies, and illness heterogeneity and unpredictability. Synthetic biology consequently takes into account a remarkable control of the organic substrate for custom fitted signal detection, processing and reporting to the full combination into independent devices assessing analytic principles in situ, either in vitro or in vivo(9). Especially in creating nations, IVD test assumes significant job on worldwide endeavors to battle infectious diseases. IVD tests are effective method to upgrade treatment, increment quiet endurance rate, and they are cost effective. Among the most ordinarily utilized IVD tests for infectious diseases are refined, biomarker identification by entire genome sequencing, PCR and by immunoassays,.

Despite the specificity and sensitivity, the utilization of those tests is still hampered by different issues, for the most part identified with examination time, cost, and movability for a straightforward in-field application(10). However, all of these techniques has one or more disadvantages which lead to the development of novel diagnostic devices by fulfilling all the demands such as diagnosing the disease in less time, low cost and able to receive most accurate results. These devices should be versatile for a basic in-field application. The devices that are developed till now are based on m-rna sensing and CRISPR/Cas9 biosensing models. These bio-sensing models are used for in-vitro diagnosis of Ebola, pneumonia and several types of cancers.

In current circumstances diagnosing patients with COVID-19 is challenging task for many developing countries. COVId-19 test kits are based on ELISA where these tests are able to produce results within 2 hours. The diagnostic kit consists of a strip that is coated with antibodies, this strip is dipped in the solution containing the sample of the patient and a second antibody which is attached to nanoparticles. If the patient is corona positive then the viral proteins present in the sample bound to antibodies on the strip along with nanoparticles which results in colored spots. Synthetically developed devices may be helpful in early diagnosis of such infectious diseases and may lead the path for vaccine development and also for better understanding of the disease mechanisms.

Fig.1 : Portable synthetic RNA Biosensor – Based diagnostics device(10)

Simple model of RNA biosensing device.The biosensor consists of a reporter gene and complementary sequence. The sample with viral protein or any antigens bind to the RNA which has complementary sequence and activates reporter gene which produces qualitative results(10)

Synthetic Biology for Therapeutics

As the pathogens are getting impervious to the current medications there is an expanding interest for novel ways to deal with therapeutics for these pathogens. The advancement of new strains of pathogens because of environmental change are causing novel illnesses and improvement of medications for such sicknesses is challenging. Synthetic biology is one of the rising innovations in such cases, it is helpful for better comprehension of disease and furthermore, for improvement of therapeutics or vaccines(12).synthetic biology helps in commercial production of drugs by modifying the microorganisms synthetically. Synthetic biology has succeeded in developing anti-cancer drugs. Many naturally available plants are capable of synthesizing anti-cancerous compounds due to difficulty in extraction of these compounds either from plants or micro-organisms synthetically modified plant cells or microorganisms are used to produce these compounds in larger quantities(13).vaccines can also be produced using synthetic biology using reconstructed viruses by deleting the viral genes that are responsible for viral diseases. For example, poliovirus which has been recorded which resulted in attenuation of virus in mice due to decreased rates of protein translation.

Synthetic biology is emerging in the development of personalized medicine. Customized medication which is most commonly known as personalized medicine essentially implies the solution of explicit therapeutics most appropriate to a person. It is generally founded on pharmacogenetics, pharmacogenomics, transcriptomics, pharmacoproteomic and pharmacometabolomic data. Sequencing of the genomes of different creatures has given the premise to the improvement of synthetic biology. Already known sequence improves the diagnosis and useful in clinical operations. Researchers have to design synthesized DNA to boot up the host genome and help improving its functions(14).Hence synthetic biology not only helpful in diagnosing diseases but also helps in developing therapeutics for those diseases and many novel diseases.


Tackling the global challenges in healthcare such as providing low-cost early diagnosis depends hugely on interfaces between many disciples. The engineered molecular devices, as well as cellular devices in combination with biosensing, have been clinically compliant like in the case of toehold switch. Synthetic biology has been helpful in developing anticancer drugs as well. To develop anti-cancer drugs synthetically modified plant cells are used to produce anti-cancerous compounds through the application of microorganisms. Synthetic biology assists in the commercial production of drugs by modifying the microorganisms synthetically. Customized medicines are being used to develop personalized medicine with the help of pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics. Engineering principles can be used effectively by following present-day clinical requirements, illness heterogeneity, and unpredictability. For real-world applications, the Paper base platform can play avery prominent role as it fits in the criteria for being low cost as well as a practical and simple diagnostic tool outside the laboratory (in vitro). In microtechnologies can provide personalized diagnosis which helps in personal as well as environmental sensing to an extent(8).

Synthetic RNA, CRISPR-based biosensors have developed in vitro diagnostic platforms, which have enabled the short design to production cycles. They both offer logistical advances when compared to PCR- based diagnostic tests. TALENsand CRISPR/Cas9 devices have been very efficient in designing models for complicated diseases such as cancer. Some of these diseases had created complications due to their property of chromosomal modifications. IVD tests have been found to be very effective in upgrading treatment as well as in being cost-effective. They have been effective due to the use of principles such as Biomarkerrecognition by PCR as well as genome sequencing. Some more research in the field of synthetic biosensors can help in making RNAswitches sand enzymes which can give more improved sensitivity(10).

The technology based on how a system can sense viral derived sequences can give promising results. There are research papers and are still being researched where they have demonstrated successfully that a novel scheme which is based on combining the isothermal amplification, as well as viral sensors of synthetic biology, can detect plant pathogen CMV which is infected from the plant lysate. This ability to selectively recognize genomic sequences from CMY and PVY effectively highlights the ability principles which are being designed within RNA synthetic Biology for real-time Application.

  • Somethings which need to be addressed for improving this field is :
  • larger investment in big Data management and data mining.
  • Creating Interoperability around biosystem modeling as well as standards on DNA Design
  • The development of genomic sensors or protein-based electronic component can keep collective targets focused.
  • • Coordination among Government industry and researchers through collective meetings to fulfill objectives.

In the end, finally, it can be said that the future of this field relies heavily on innovation embodied in synergetic synthetic biology.

Cite this page

Biomedical Applications of Synthetic Biology. (2022, Jan 15). Retrieved from

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