Team:Missouri Miners


The objective of our bio-electric device is to detect Enterobacteriaceae, which are Gram‐negative, non‐spore forming, predominantly motile, facultative anaerobic bacilli. These bacteria communicate predominantly through quorum sensing, a biochemical process where signaling molecules turn genes on and off depending on density. By coupling this communication system with a fluorescent reporter and electronic components, we can improve upon pre-existing biosensors by increasing scalability and portability. Through the use of bioengineered E. coli cells that react to the presence of autoinducer-2, we produce a measurable fluorescent signal. The amount of fluorescence is then correlated to contamination using our dry-lab mechanical/electrical device: a cost-effective fluorometer built to test samples in common microcentrifuge tubes. Missouri_Miner’s 2021 project blends the boundaries between synthetic biology and electronics, seeking to improve the viability of biosensors in food manufacturing.