Revision as of 12:54, 13 July 2012 by Suxiaohui (Talk | contribs)


INSA-Lyon -> Silver Medal


Lyon-INSA-ENS -> Gold Medal and Best New BioBrick Device, Engineered


Same same.... but different
Lyon-INSA is back!!

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Team project description

Biofilms are responsible for billions of dollars in production losses and treatment costs in the industry every year. Biofilm-related problems are major concerns in the food industry where they can cause food spoilage or poisoning, in health industry due to dispersal of pathogens, or in the oil and water industry where they induce corrosion. Assuming that the environment is already over-saturated with harmful chemical products with indubitable long-term health effects there is a great need for novel solutions to reduce detrimental biofilm effects.

To reduce the use of biocides, the INSA-Lyon iGEM team aims to engineer “torpedo” bacteria able to destroy biofilms formed on industrial pipes or reservoirs. Industrial piping systems will then be protected from further deleterious contamination by either a surfactant coating, or the establishment of a probiotic biofilm.

Our experimental model consists of Staphylococcus epidermidis as the detrimental biofilm, and Bacillus subtilis as the “Biofilm Killer” agent. Three complementary modules will be constructed to arm our “Biofilm Killer” strain:

  • The first step will be to fit Bacillus subtilis swarmers with both a biocide and a biofilm-distructuring agent. Penetration of these active substances in the biofilm should be facilitated by the swarming activity of these cells.
  • In a second step, to prevent surface recolonisation by unwanted biofilms, we will engineer our "Biofilm Killer" strain with a conditional production of surfactin, a naturally toxic bio-surfactant produced by B. subtilis and displaying well-known antimicrobial properties.
  • Finally, we will engineer the Bacterial Killer to establish a conditional of a barrier flora, to prevent further surface recolonisation in the long term, by inhibiting the expression of abrB, its main biofilm formation repressor gene.

  • Bacillus strains are non-pathogenic, and do not cause equipment degradation by corrosion : their attachment on surfaces appears as a good solution to prevent the formation of new dangerous biofilms. This project provides a potential cheap, permanent and environmental-friendly solution for unwanted biofilm development.