MSU-iGEM 2017 developed a hardware system that can be utilized by researchers across multiple disciplines. A simplistic bioreactor system that is cost effective and versatile can be used from renewable energy to measuring protein expression. Yet, these bioreactors can be used for applications outside the research lab such as testing for water contaminants and even as a teaching tool for synthetic biology. The design focuses on utilizing materials that are common throughout labs as well as durability when being used for multiple applications. Using mason jars as the main housing, promotes strength to withstand autoclaving and being shipped from research lab to field testing. The titanium wires, housing for the counter electrode and housing for the reference electrode allow for a single-chamber bioreactor to be effective and simple. The bioreactors themselves cost under seven dollars and a Microcontroller-based device can be a low cost alternative to a potentiostat for an entire system.
Useful for Everyone
The bioreactors and potentiostat set-up can also be used to detect protein expression in place of GFP fluorescence. This will be significantly faster, easier, and cheaper to run. This will also yield a consistent stream of data so that any iGEM team can more accurately analyze the data. The entire system is a very easy way to test if a promoter works and should be used for accurate determination of the functionality of a promoter. The steps are very simple to test if the promoter is functional. Simply insert a new promoter in place of the old promoter or at the appropriate location upstream of the mtrB gene. Then insert the plasmid into your Shewanella bacteria and place that bacteria into the bioreactor. After this you induce the bacteria after they hit stationary phase and await the results!
A complete list of parts can be viewed