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Synthetic Biology underpins advances in the bioeconomy

Biological systems - including the simplest cells - exhibit a broad range of functions to thrive in their environment. Research in the Imperial College Centre for Synthetic Biology is focused on the possibility of engineering the underlying biochemical processes to solve many of the challenges facing society, from healthcare to sustainable energy. In particular, we model, analyse, design and build biological and biochemical systems in living cells and/or in cell extracts, both exploring and enhancing the engineering potential of biology. 

As part of our research we develop novel methods to accelerate the celebrated Design-Build-Test-Learn synthetic biology cycle. As such research in the Centre for Synthetic Biology highly multi- and interdisciplinary covering computational modelling and machine learning approaches; automated platform development and genetic circuit engineering ; multi-cellular and multi-organismal interactions, including gene drive and genome engineering; metabolic engineering; in vitro/cell-free synthetic biology; engineered phages and directed evolution; and biomimetics, biomaterials and biological engineering.



BibTex format

author = {Kis, Z and Shattock, R and Shah, N and Kontoravdi, K},
doi = {10.1002/biot.201800376},
journal = {Biotechnology Journal},
title = {Emerging technologies for low-cost, rapid vaccine manufacture},
url = {},
volume = {14},
year = {2019}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - To stop the spread of future epidemics and meet infant vaccination demands in low and middleincome countries, flexible, rapid and lowcost vaccine development and manufacturing technologies are required. Vaccine development platform technologies that can produce a wide range of vaccines are emerging, including: a) humanized, highyield yeast recombinant protein vaccines; b) insect cellbaculovirus ADDomer vaccines; c) Generalized Modules for Membrane Antigens (GMMA) vaccines; d) RNA vaccines. Herein, existing and future platforms are assessed in terms of addressing challenges of scale, cost, and responsiveness. To assess the risk and feasibility of the four emerging platforms, the following six metrics are applied: 1) technology readiness; 2) technological complexity; 3) ease of scaleup; 4) flexibility for the manufacturing of a wide range of vaccines; 5) thermostability of the vaccine product at tropical ambient temperatures; and 6) speed of response from threat identification to vaccine deployment. The assessment indicated that technologies in the order of increasing feasibility and decreasing risk are the yeast platform, ADDomer platform, followed by RNA and GMMA platforms. The comparative strengths and weaknesses of each technology are discussed in detail, illustrating the associated development and manufacturing needs and priorities.
AU - Kis,Z
AU - Shattock,R
AU - Shah,N
AU - Kontoravdi,K
DO - 10.1002/biot.201800376
PY - 2019///
SN - 1860-6768
TI - Emerging technologies for low-cost, rapid vaccine manufacture
T2 - Biotechnology Journal
UR -
UR -
VL - 14
ER -