Digital microfluidics to optimize synthetic biology in extremophile red algaeApply
The transformation and handling of microalgal cultures is optimized in standard lab practices within the ranges of 500 µl-50 mL. The procedure, however, is significantly limited in its throughput due to its artisinal methodology and prone to issues such as handling mistakes, contamination, and false positives. The advent of electrowetting and digital droplet handling mediated by electricity on coated specialty circuits, holds the promis of optimized, multiplexed liquid reaction handling in small scale and with extreme precision. This project aims to apply development of electrowetting to the transformation of Cyanidioschyzon merolae, an extremophilic red alga. The goal will be to develop high throughput transformation and screening techiques for fluorescent protein expression directly from transformation events on microchips with small volumes. It is anticipated that this project will greatly increase our abilities in transformation efficiency and transformant screening to improve overall engineerability of this organism and promote its adoption as a synthetic biology chassis.
Program - BioEngineering
Division - Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering
Faculty Lab Link - https://ssb.kaust.edu.sa
Field of Study - Synthetic Biology - Bioelectronics
Desired Project Deliverables
The visiting student will: - learn wet ;ab techniques for transformation of C. merolae. - adapt transformation techniques to electrowetted chips and generate chips for this purpose. - demonstrate successful transformation, and colony recovery of transformed algae. - demonstrate screening of yellow fluorescent protein expression on chip.