INTERESTING POINTS (◎): Hummm......you mentioned about......"Realizing the Concept of Avatar?"
Magnetotactic bacteria have long been regarded as an intriguing group of species exhibiting magnetotaxis with their fascinating bacterial organelles, magnetosomes. Also, optogenetics, the recent revolution in neuroscientific methodologies, has caught our attention intensively. An eagerness out of pure curiosity to combine and utilize these two streams of thoughts gave way to a truly ground-breaking idea, the realization of the concept of Avatar.
GROUNDBREAKING NEWS (!): So we have decided to call it an......Opto-Magnetic Revolution
This year, NYMU-Taipei goes beyond the current realm of mainstream synthetic biology We develope a opto-magnetic probing platform on Magnetospirillum magneticum AMB-1 which functionally couples to channelrhodopsins (opsins that are ultra-rapidly reactive to light beams of certain wavelengths) to enable activation of neuronal circuitry in a totally wireless, spatially and temporarily accurate, minimally invasive, 3-dimensional multi-site stimulation enabling fasion.
HOW CAN THAT EVER BE POSSIBLE (?): Basically, we focus on achieving BRET under electromagnetic field oscillations......
In our project, we focus heavily on inducible BRET by electromagnetic field oscillations (BRET, Bioluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer). In this stream of thought, mms13, a transmembrane magnetite tight-binding protein on the magnetosome membrane of Magnetopirillum magneticum AMB-1 was chosen as the linker between non-contact force and biological responses. Comformational wobbling of mms13 induced by magnetic movement under electromagnetic field oscillation is our primary hypothesis. Before testing on this hypothesis directly, we have designed several constructs to prove "lemmas," which are believed to be the foundation to this "theory". Computational modeling is thus a key emphasis in our project, check out for more!
BUT BEFORE DREAMS COME TRUE (#): Yeah, yeah, we know......We were not using E. coli.
Magnetospirillum magneticum AMB-1 has been proven to serve as a genetically manipulatable species. And we also noticed from the history of iGem that there are always some teams attempting almost every year to deal with AMB-1, but, unfortunately, those respectful movements never got their chance to appear on the jamborees. This year, we will make a change. A brand-new magnetic chassis is about to be established, and a complete toolkit containing all elements required in genetic manipulations on AMB-1 has been submitted to the registry (see Chassis for more details).
WAIT, SO YOU GONNA PUT THEM IN... (§): Glial cells in brain......Yes, we will make them dormant.
Retrospectively, neuroimmune response appears to be the major negative issue spanning all invasive neuro-stimulatory methodologies. Although we've designed the injectable wireless optogenetic system aimed to avoid deleterious responses surrounding the electrodes / light cables inserted into the brain tissue, our very approach, utilizing bacteria, if left unresolved, may cause far more serious aftereffects. To handle this problem, we engineer our AMB-1 with genes of team Warsaw's construct in 2010. In brief, intracellularity with controlled cell count is our goal of this part. We've designed a timeline of future applications with optomagnetic AMB-1, where stable in vitro symbiosis within glial cells precedes injection on the schedule. And, in our design we plan to inject glial cells containing AMB-1, not bacteria (AMB-1 in this case) into the brain, to minimize any possible immune responses. See NeuroSymbiosis for detailed explanations.
For those who want to enjoy the context of our project (including what obstacles do we face, what candidate solutions do we adopt, defining the niche and drawbacks of our project and so on...), we strongly recommend you join us on the Journey to Making A Difference.