Team:University College London/Module 2/Design


Module 2: Aggregation

Description | Design | Construction | Characterisation | Shear Device | Modelling | Results | Conclusions



Module 2 was designed to meet the following requirements:

Requirement 1: Cells must express an adhesive element that allow them to bind to plastics.

Curlis are adherent proteins that allow biofilm formation. From the reference papers, curlis expressed bind more readily to plastics at 30˚C than 37˚C, a factor that would be ideal if the system were to be applied to the marine environment.

Requirement 2: The adhesion system must be compatible with the chassis being used.

Curlis are native to E. coli, and have been previously deliberately formation expressed. Furthermore, a curli BioBrick already exist in the Parts Registry (BBa_K540000), albeit with a cobalt promoter that will be replaced for the purposes of the project. As curlis have not been expressed before in Roseobacter, this is something we wish to investigate.

Requirement 3: The adhesion system must be compatible with the real world environment that the cells would be expected to be exposed to.

Curlis express favourable at temperatures from 26-30˚C, and during the cellular stationary growth phase. These conditions correspond well to the marine environment that we hope to target in our project. Two important unknowns also exist that we wish to characterise. Firstly, curli expression is abrogated in bacteria cultured in the presence of salt, and we want to see if our system can work effectively at the salt levels found in the ocean. Secondly, we need to see whether our system will be strong enough to endure the shear stress of the ocean.