The overall goal of PRINTBIO is to “domesticate” and to 3D print the electricity-producing bacteria from the genus Geobacter to convert this strain in à-la-carte bioelectrochemical biosensor using graphene-based screen printed electrode as electrochemical platform.
Classical microbial biosensors require to engineer bacteria with an external module which contain the reporter protein responsible of the output signal (eg. GFP, luciferase). In this project our elecroactive bacteria, Geobacter sulfurreducens, already have the capacity for producing a measurable signal: an electrical current. So far we have an ideal biological transducer, but we believe can be still improved by using:
• 3D printing approach to create Geobacter-derived functional material by combining the natural electroactive metabolism with design freedom using a electroconductive and biocompatible hydrogel.
• The 3D-embedded bacteria will be printed on a graphene-based electrode able to convert metabolism (eg. lactate) into electrical current.
• A system biology approach will test genetically engineered Geobacter strains able to switch on-off the capacity of electricity production conditioned to the presence of a specific analyte. We will use explosives as TNT or DNTs are proof of concept.