On this page, we summarized all the criteria we met during the project and give a bried introduction about we have we have done.


  • Bronze#1 Competition Deliverables
  • Bronze#2 Attributions
  • On this page you will find what our team members did and what support we have received by a couple of mentors during the project.

  • Bronze#3 Project Description
  • On this page you will find our motivation and how we achieve our goals. Hepatic cancer has already been a severe public health problem to be urgently dealt with in the whole world. Traditional treatments including surgery radiotherapy and chemotherapy are not satisfying in hepatic cancer treatment due to their side effects. Therefore, we decided to develop a new type of oncolytic virus to treat hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We use RNAi as our weapon to kill malignant cells and eliminate possible virulence caused by oncolytic virus with several safety designs which make virulent virus turns into a guard. Moreover, we also increase the specificity of virus to target tumor cells and reduce the early clearance of virus by patient's immune system.

  • Bronze#4 Contribution
  • On this page you will find how we make several contributions to the iGEM community. Our work include adding new documentation to Part BBa_K540001 based on our measurement work, building hardware and software tools, and making 3D print of our hardware as well as detailed documentation about how to use.

  • Silver#1 Engineering Success
  • On this page you will find how our project iterate upon serveral cycles, interacting with other iGEM teams, companies, scientists, doctors, our hardware, software, and experiments. We made four rounds to realize the final version of our design. We firstly guaranteed its virulence and then tried to increase its safety. Finally, we had set restriction in different levels to fullfill the safety need.

  • Silver#2 Collaboration
  • On this page you will find how we collaborate with other iGEM teams in 2021, which includes our partership with NJU_China, a regional meeting hosted by our team, and collaborated education work by a couple of iGEM teams in China.

  • Silver#3 Human Practices
  • On this page you will find how our project can benefit the world. With COVID spreading even more rapidly across the world, 2021 has been a hard year for the iGEM community, which sets a higher requirement for each iGEM team to collaborate with other teams and communicate with the world. However the severe and grim pandemic situation, instead of abating our enthusiasm, reminded us of the role of synthetic biology can play in public health from time to time. Therefore, considering the responsiveness and goodness that our project was supposed to shoulder, engagement with real-world and our laboratory work interacted and reinforced each other throughout the whole course of our project to make sure that the Viruguard has the potential to benefit the world one day in the future. Also remember to look at how we integrated Human Practices into our project in a separated Integrated Human Practices page.

  • Silver#4 Proposed Implementation
  • On this page you will find how we implement our project in the real world. A detailed user manual of ViruGuard is shown in that page.

  • Gold#1 Integrated Human Practices
  • Although the Gold#1 criteria shares the same page as Silver#3, we still give a separate page to introduce additional information about how we integrated Human Practices into our project.

  • Gold#2 Improvement of an Existing Part
  • On this page you will find how we improve part BBa_K540001 using T7 promotor. Detailed measurements of part kinetics are shown on that page.

  • Gold#3 Project Modeling
  • On this page you will find our modeling work and how it interacts with our experiments. Some ordinary differential equation models were used to verify the rationality of our design, and a conceptual model was proposed to guide the analysis of adenovirus killing effect on cancer cells. Detailed documentation of each parameter and sensitivity analysis are shown on that page.

  • Gold#4 Proof of Concept
  • HCC has been a long existing problem in China and it is quite hard to come up with a new method of treatment. Therefore, we must guarantee the reliability of our project in every part of our design. In the past, the oncolytic virus had been widely studied by researchers, so if we want to improve the survival status of hepatic cancer patients, we need to prove our project has been improved in some aspects. On this page, we show some facts about Proof of Concept on the basis of the project implementation plan and its matched detection hardware. The viability of these parts ensured the reliability of our project.

  • Gold#5 Partnership
  • On this page you will find our partership with NJU_China 2021, which promoted problem-solving, spurred innovation, and connected both teams to bigger pictures due to geographic difference.

  • Gold#6 Education & Communication
  • Through our communication with the real world, especially other teams, we achieved higher productivity, comprehended the roles we played in iGEM, and tweaked our work accordingly. This year, ZJU_China widely communicated and exchanged ideas with different teams participating in iGEM to improve the Viruguard and ensure our visions were not blurred since we were in the middle of it.


  • Education
  • Though with rapid development in technology, an observable tendency to secular distortion in the allocation of social resources was plaguing millions of people in China, which could be caused by wealth imbalance, education inequity and etc. and might finally lead to severe social immobility. This year team ZJU_China 2021 focused on poverty-stricken families and endeavored to give them a big picture of cut-edging technology currently, especially synthetic biology. Both online and face-to-face lectures were given to make the resources available for all those in need. Also we got the opportunity to introduce our project and propagandized basic synthetic biology knowledge to people from all walks of life to guarantee inclusion in education. Our education job was widely appreciated by our audiences and we hoped that ZJU_China could continue to be committed to the dissemination of synthetic biology to the public in the future.

  • Hardware
  • With our hardware aiming in solving the early-phase detection problem of liver cancer from a with user-friendly methods alone with liver cancer’s definite diagnosis, the project of our team has been completed into an entire diagnosis-treatment therapy which processes a more comprehensive practical significance. Such feature also contributing in safety of our project through permitting the treatment of our wet lab to be proceeded only after definite diganosis. Furthermore, through solid electrochemical and biological tests, our hardware has been verified of robust functionality with concise structure. After intensive interview of both liver cancer susceptible population and medical practitioners we compiled the electrode, the most complex part of our hardware, into a chip that functions friendly to both doctors and patients with corresponding smart phone software. In spite of the chip, the circuit constructed with Arduino boards alone with its shell can easily been replicated with the blueprint we provided. Even the detection chip itself enables easy reproduction according to our protocol using only basic kits.

  • Inclusivity
  • Though equality and equity had been highlighted in our society, people around the world suffered from the unfair exclusivity in the scientific community yet because of gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status which could lead to significant brain drain and lag in academic development. ZJU_China this year established a diverse team and made sure every member in the team had a genial atmosphere to express themselves. During our education, we put our best effort to make sure students and our audience could access our lectures or educational resources. Everyone involved in our project, including patients, experts, stakeholders are treated equally and with our respect regardless of their wealthy status, gender, ethnicity and educational background. Despite the miniature contribution we made, team ZJU_China would insist the impartiality continuously and make sure all the individuals have the equal opportunities to get enrolled in our project and participate in academic causes.

  • Integrated Human Practices
  • In order to make our project responsible and good for society and have it optimized, human practice was supposed to play a supporting role in every step of project implementation. This year ZJU_China thoroughly considered the influence our project have on the world, and talked to the public, stakeholders, experts and patients through interviews or questionnaire. The feedbacks that we received have been applied to instruct our laboratory works. Core values including responsibility and service were widely acknowledged by our team members and guided our design of Viruguard. Every step that we proceeded in our lab was under supervision of experts that we consulted, to make sure our design and procedures conformed to the bioethical standards and the requirement of iGEM community. Therefore, our product had a view of real world, and we have been and always will be keen to hear your voice for Viruguard.

  • Measurement
  • We developed two statistics – K-function and TNE. The former helps to characterize first-order treatment effects and the latter is helpful for any other iGEM teams to redesign their experiment. We proposed a framework of statistical analyses for part characterization and gave a detailed description of how this roadmap can help us identify potential trend, outliers, and "junk data" in our dataset. We further developed a software – 'expmeasure' – in order to simplify the statistical analysis work without coding for other iGEM teams. Protocol is well documented in the user manual of 'expmeasure', which includes how to perform statistical test and make sensible conclusions using 'Trend', 'Error', 'Significance', 'Explanatory', 'Prediction', and 'Uncertainty' module. Two examples (i.e. improvement of sPrcn, differential expression analysis of miRNA) were given to demonstrate how this framework help our team to delete outliers and 'junk data' or redesign our experiments according to the results.

  • Model
  • Our model starts with the basics and goes from easy to deep, which allows any reader to understand our design easily. Our parameters have a rigorous basis, so that our model is more convincing. Our model can be easily replicated and the code is completely open source and fully annotated. The assumptions in our model fit the reality, and the logic in the model is clear and the thinking is rigorous. Our model has molecular level, individual level and so on. It provides us with a different perspective on the problem. And our model consists of many sub-models. Each part is decoupled well, enabling us to see clearly the place the function of each part in the whole.

  • Safety and Security
  • One of the main targets of our project is to improve the safety of oncolytic virus and we had made great effort to reach the goal. So safety is one of our innovation points. We had conducted specificity improvement in virulence expression and cancer cell recognition. Several methods had been made to reduce the side effect to normal cells, which had been a large problem in oncolytic virus treatment, by using suicide switch and GPC3 specific binding protein. Besides, all the parts that we used had been published to be safe or had been widely used in synthetic biology studies. Moreover, we paid much attention to the experiment safety. All the members must pass the lab entrance test and a lab instructor supervised us to follow the lab management practice. We also evaluated the risk of possible virus leakage. Our project wouldn't threaten the environment or other species.

  • Software Tool
  • We developed two software tools. In corresponding with our hardware, our first software, a smart phone-based one, enables the early self-detection of liver cancer susceptible population with user friendly operation and the real time monitoring from authorized medical supervisors, thus facilitating patient-doctor communication alone with early treatment of liver cancer. Our second software – 'expmeasure' – provides a wide range of statistical analyses for part characterization, ranging from part kinetics measurement to differential expression analysis. Examples of how 'expmeasure' can help iGEM teams to identify potential trends, outliers, and 'junk data' in their dataset are given in the user manual based on our experimental work. A workflow of analysis, data input, address of potential error messages, and a quick-start example are well documented in the user manual. 'expmeasure' adopts a graphic-based interface, which allows any iGEM teams to perform comprehensive data analysis without coding.

  • Part
  • This is a set of parts which are designed to realize a high tumor specificity oncolytic virus. It consists of a series of parts which act in from the outer interaction between virus and immune system to the intracellular recognition mechanism. Some of these parts came from published work. Parts designed by our own are based on reliable mechanisms and tools and we had confirmed their reliability in our whole project. The design can be easily transfered to other human adenovirus type5 based oncolytic virus development. Our parts collection can be used to give the virus with early camouflage ability, high specificity of virulence to cancer cells and reduction of poison to normal cells. Our parts aim to suppress the tumor growth in a safe way. Therefore, it may be a useful in tumor treatment.

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