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Trends in Biotechnology

Katarzyna Bartold, Agnieszka Pietrzyk-Le, Francis D'Souza, Wlodzimierz Kutner
Living organisms create life-sustaining macromolecular biocompounds including biopolymers. Artificial polymers can selectively recognize biocompounds and are more resistant to harsh physical, chemical, and physiological conditions than biopolymers are. Due to recognition at a molecular level, molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) provide powerful tools to correlate structure with biological functionality and are often used to build next-generation chemosensors. We envision an increasing emergence of nucleic acid analogs (NAAs) or biorelevant monomers built into nature-mimicking polymers...
May 17, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Nan Cheng, Dan Du, Xinxian Wang, Dong Liu, Wentao Xu, Yunbo Luo, Yuehe Lin
Early detection and effective treatments are two of the greatest challenges in the fight against cancer. Cancer-derived exosomes are attractive biomarkers for the early diagnosis and therapeutic response evaluation of cancer. Here, we review recent advances in biosensors for the detection of cancer-derived exosomes. We discuss the potential exosomal biomarkers of various cancers, which can be applied as indicative targets in the design of biosensors. We further describe the fabrication of exosome detection biosensors with respect to biological recognition strategies and signal transduction techniques, which involve integrated scientific and technological aspects of analytical chemistry and nanotechnology...
May 16, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Leo Hsu, Xiaocheng Jiang
A critical aspect in bioprinting is the formulation of bioactive inks. A recent breakthrough in bioink design (Qian et al. Nano Lett. 2019; enables the direct writing of catalytically active microorganisms with unprecedented cell loading, tunable structural properties, and long-term activity. This strategy will create possibilities for bottom-up design and integration of functional living systems.
May 15, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Richard Bruch, Gerald A Urban, Can Dincer
Multiplexed CRISPR/Cas biosensing offers various possibilities for diagnosing different diseases by analyzing many analytes from one single specimen. However, in this relatively new field, nearly no multiplexing approaches exist, as many challenges need to be addressed. We discuss the reasons behind it and possible strategies to push the multiplexing level.
May 8, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Khoon S Lim, Marissa Baptista, Shahana Moon, Tim B F Woodfield, Jelena Rnjak-Kovacina
Microchannels are simple, perfusable architectural features engineered into biomaterials to promote mass transport of solutes to cells, effective cell seeding and compartmentalisation for tissue engineering applications, control over spatiotemporal distribution of molecules and ligands, and survival, integration, and vascularisation of engineered tissue analogues in vivo. Advances in biofabrication have led to better control over microchannel fabrication in 3D scaffolds, enabling sophisticated designs that drive the development of complex tissue structures...
May 7, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Lingqian Chang, Yu-Chieh Wang, Faheem Ershad, Ruiguo Yang, Cunjiang Yu, Yubo Fan
Wearable healthcare devices are mainly used for biosensing and transdermal delivery. Recent advances in wearable biosensors allow for long-term and real-time monitoring of physiological conditions at a cellular resolution. Transdermal drug delivery systems have been further scaled down, enabling wide selections of cargo, from natural molecules (e.g., insulin and glucose) to bioengineered molecules (e.g., nanoparticles). Some emerging nanopatches show promise for precise single-cell gene transfection in vivo and have advantages over conventional tools in terms of delivery efficiency, safety, and controllability of delivered dose...
May 6, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Adrie J J Straathof, S Aljoscha Wahl, Kirsten R Benjamin, Ralf Takors, Nick Wierckx, Henk J Noorman
Future manufacturing will focus on new, improved products as well as on new and enhanced production methods. Recent biotechnological and scientific advances, such as CRISPR/Cas and various omic technologies, pave the way to exciting novel biotechnological research, development, and commercialization of new sustainable products. Rigorous mathematical descriptions of microbial cells and consortia thereof will enable deeper biological understanding and lead to powerful in silico cellular models. Biological engineering, namely model-based design together with synthetic biology, will accelerate the construction of robust and high-performing microorganisms...
May 1, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Richard Kitney, Michael Adeogun, Yoshiyuki Fujishima, Ángel Goñi-Moreno, Richard Johnson, Mary Maxon, Scott Steedman, Sean Ward, David Winickoff, Jim Philp
The bioeconomy concept is proliferating globally. However, the enabling roles of biotechnology may be getting sidelined in the strategies of some countries. A goal for engineering biology is alignment with the engineering design cycle to enable more rapid commercialization. This paper considers several policy options to remove critical technical barriers to commercialization.
April 26, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Giel Vandemoortele, Sven Eyckerman, Kris Gevaert
Protein tags have been essential for advancing our knowledge of the function of proteins, their localization, and the mapping of their interaction partners. Expressing epitope-tagged proteins has become a standard practice in every life science laboratory and, thus, continues to enable new studies. In recent years, several new tagging moieties have entered the limelight, many of them bringing new functionalities, such as targeted protein degradation, accurate quantification, and proximity labeling. Other novel tags aim at tackling research questions in challenging niches...
April 26, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Fengxue Xin, Wenming Zhang, Min Jiang
The toxicity of butanol to microbial cells makes it difficult to scale-up the acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation process. Bioconversion of butanol into more valuable and nontoxic short-chain esters, such as butyl butyrate which is widely used in the food, beverage, and biofuel sectors, offers a promising alternative.
April 23, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Elizabeth Skellam
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
April 23, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Muhammad Zuhaib Khan, Sibtain Haider, Shahid Mansoor, Imran Amin
CRISPR-Cas14a is a highly compact protein with great potential to be used as a guided genome editing tool for single-stranded (ss) DNA cleavage. Recently isolated from noncultured archaea, its unrestricted and sequence-independent cleavage makes it an ideal tool for engineering resistance against economically important plant ssDNA viruses.
April 22, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Antonio Fernandez, E N Clare Mills, Frits Koning, F Javier Moreno
Current international guidelines for the risk assessment of biotechnology-derived foods date back to 2003. We present new strategies and directions for assessing immune adverse reactions to novel food proteins. Understanding genetic factors involved in food allergy and the role of the gastrointestinal tract will streamline risk assessment strategies.
April 17, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Timothy A Coulther, Hannah R Stern, Penny J Beuning
DNA polymerases are critical tools in biotechnology, enabling efficient and accurate amplification of DNA templates, yet many desired functions are not readily available in natural DNA polymerases. New or improved functions can be engineered in DNA polymerases by mutagenesis or through the creation of protein chimeras. Engineering often necessitates the development of new techniques, such as selections in water-in-oil emulsions that connect genotype to phenotype and allow more flexibility in engineering than phage display...
April 16, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Ewelina Krol, Gabriela Brzuska, Boguslaw Szewczyk
Many viruses belonging to the Flaviviridae family are transmitted by invertebrate vectors. Among those transmitted by mosquitos, there are many human pathogens of great medical importance, such as Japanese encephalitis virus, West Nile virus, dengue virus, Zika virus, or yellow fever virus. Millions of people contract mosquito-borne diseases each year, leading to thousands of deaths. Co-circulation of genetically similar flaviviruses in the same areas result in the generation of crossreactive antibodies, which is of serious concern for the development of effective vaccines and diagnostic tests...
April 16, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Susanna Piluso, Yang Li, Florencia Abinzano, Riccardo Levato, Liliana Moreira Teixeira, Marcel Karperien, Jeroen Leijten, René van Weeren, Jos Malda
Treating joint diseases remains a significant clinical challenge. Conventional in vitro cultures and animal models have been helpful, but suffer from limited predictive power for the human response. Advanced models are therefore required to mimic the complex biological interactions within the human joint. However, the intricate structure of the joint microenvironment and the complex nature of joint diseases have challenged the development of in vitro models that can faithfully mimic the in vivo physiological and pathological environments...
April 16, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Magdalena Pätzold, Sascha Siebenhaller, Selin Kara, Andreas Liese, Christoph Syldatk, Dirk Holtmann
'Ideal' solvents in biocatalysis have to fulfill a large number of requirements, such as high substrate solubility, high enzyme activity and stability, and positive effects on reaction equilibrium. In the past decades, many enzymatic synthesis routes in water-based and nonaqueous (organic solvents, ionic or supercritical fluids) reaction media have been developed. However, no solvent meets every demand for different reaction types at the same time, and there is still a need for novel solvents suited for different reaction types and applications...
April 16, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Kutubuddin A Molla, Yinong Yang
Genome editing with CRISPR/Cas has rapidly gained popularity. Base editing, a new CRISPR/Cas-based approach, can precisely convert one nucleotide to another in DNA or RNA without inducing a double-strand DNA break (DSB). A combination of catalytically impaired nuclease variants with different deaminases has yielded diverse base-editing platforms that aim to address the key limitations such as specificity, protospacer adjacent motif (PAM) compatibility, editing window length, bystander editing, and sequence context preference...
April 14, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Jacky F C Loo, Aaron H P Ho, Anthony P F Turner, Wing Cheung Mak
Integrated printed microfluidic biosensors are one of the most recent point-of-care (POC) sensor developments. Fast turnaround time for production and ease of customization, enabled by the integration of recognition elements and transducers, are key for on-site biosensing for both healthcare and industry and for speeding up translation to real-life applications. Here, we provide an overview of recent progress in printed microfluidics, from the 2D to the 4D level, accompanied by novel sensing element integration...
April 13, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Tjerko Kamminga, Simen-Jan Slagman, Vitor A P Martins Dos Santos, Jetta J E Bijlsma, Peter J Schaap
Design of a reliable process for bacterial antigen production requires understanding of and control over critical process parameters. Current methods for process design use extensive screening experiments for determining ranges of critical process parameters yet fail to give clear insights into how they influence antigen potency. To address this gap, we propose to apply constraint-based, genome-scale metabolic models to reduce the need of experimental screening for strain selection and to optimize strains based on model driven iterative Design-Build-Test-Learn (DBTL) cycles...
April 5, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
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