Immunobots: a step towards intelligent probiotics
The human bowel hosts a rich diversity of symbiotic microflora that provides a powerful
engineering platform for intelligent probiotics. These immunobots will ideally work in-sync
and enhance natural self-repair mechanisms for a range of intestinal diseases associated with
Towards this end, we engineered a bacterial chemotaxis pathway that utilizes a chimeric receptor to successfully interface with the immune system (immunobot). In addition, we introduced an inducible secondary bacterial population that can trigger system-wide self-destruction, conferring an additional level of user control (killbot). Each module of our system was characterized using fluorescent reporters and the integrated parts were evaluated by controlled experiments involving wound signal gradients.
We envision a probiotic solution that can facilitate localized tissue repair for damage resulting from inflammatory bowel diseases, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.