CRISPR/Cas9-based Cell-Free Biosensors For RNA Biomarkers We hope our project will provide patients with a simple, safe and low-cost diagnostic method.

According to literature, various RNA molecules in urine or blood have proven to serve as biomarkers for the diagnosis and prognosis of various diseases.

Herein, we are developing a cell-free RNA biosensor which comprises a cell-free system, engineered DNA transcription templates and RNA-responsive CRISPR/Cas9 System.

As a biosensor, our project consists three principle components:

Recognition element

First, a recognition element is used to selectively recognize the analyte of interest. For our project, this requires a binding event to occur between the recognition element and target. The 'igRNA' stands for RNA-interacting guide RNA, which switches to their active state only upon interaction with target RNAs.


Second, the whole gene circuits function as a transducer. Once the sensor is exposed to specific RNA, the hybridization event will be converted into the production of deGFP.

Detection system

Consisting of LEDs, a light filter and a 3D printed case made of biodegradable polylactic acid, the illuminator is designed to be low-cost, recyclable and portable.

A photodiode was used for measuring fluorescence intensity and converting it into specific voltage. Single-Chip microcomputer records data and transmits it to the mobile phone via WiFi or bluetooth.

Human Practices

A successful iGEM team follows HP's exploration throughout its project lifecycle. In our project design, HP clarified the project background and led the direction of the project through multiple social surveys. While the project was going on,we had also carried out various educational activities to teach synthetic biology to people of different ages in our society.

We made a nice poster for our project! Cheers!