A world full of possibilities
Owing to the fact that out project is the development of a design standard, its perspectives are broad and its possible applications are purely speculative. To better understand this, we must understand that the founders of informatics back in the 60’s could have never imagined the iPhone, the 3G network or any other thing that seems like a logical application now. Even so, the team has discussed some applications and the improvements that could be made to the Ubbit standard thaks to related technologies.
Biosensors are the most logic application of this project. The range of chemical substances or physical parameters that can be detected by living beings is incredibly wide. All this biosensing systems depend of genes that could be adapted to the BioBrick and Ubbit standards to develop complex devices that could detect or even quantify many magnitudes or parameters. This devices would have bio-components, that is, some parts of its architecture would be made of living beings. This application in the field of biosensors would lead to the efficient carryng out of medical tests and biological or environmental analysis. Common and important processes like blood tests, analysis of the condition of a cell culture or study of environmental contamination could be made smoothier.
This is one of the most attractive applications. The field of metabolic pathways has been very studied. One could develope modules that are able to implement a fragment of a metabolic map, so that the set of modules would be a population bioprocessor that could synthesise a vast amount of substances according to what the user wants. Going a step forward, we could think of developing one of this bioprocessors in a synthetic hardware that could be implanted in a human, so that in response of a substance- i.e., glucose- the biosensor could sense its concentration and, depending on this, synthesise a substance that would be poured to the blood, like insulin.
BioPCR, biosequencing and synthetic DNA biosynthesis
The sense of making a full adder is to demonstrate the standard, as we have previously mentioned. Nevertheless, the properties of living beings make them the perfect candidates to carry out different kinds of computation. It doesn’t have any sense to make the bacteria add up (apart from the demonstration). But knowing that biocomputers could make millions of simultaneous operations, everything changes. Many steps of some algorithms can be performed in any order, so if they were done simultaneously the calculus could be completed much quickly. This device could calculate whether a number is prime or not, or it could be used to factorize a number.
Possible interaction with other technologies
There are many improvements that could be done to this project if it was integrated with other technologies. Microbiorreactors, which have a size of 3x3x3 micrometers and can accommodate up to 75 cells, could be used as modules. Microfluidic has also been considered. Technics of photolitography of microfluidic devices have recently appeared (Kim et al. 2008). In this way, we could design biological circuits with many interconnected modules that take up a very small space. Placing extremely low volumes of culture in microbiorreactors carved using photolitography we could create modules with communities talking using Ubbit. This is our most optimistic approach of an advanced poblational biodevice.