Synthetic Biology

 

Genetic screens and directed evolution can be performed in microdroplets to achieve high-throughput sample processing and analysis. In this workflow, mutant enzyme libraries generated via error-prone PCR are encapsulated in droplets and incubated. A fluorescent substrate allows active variants to be sorted and recovered for next-generation sequencing. Data analysis reveals the relative entropy of each residue in the protein structure, indicating which are critical to protein function. Using these principles, functional enzyme screens can be designed to maximize, for example, enzymatic production of a natural product.

 Overview of microfluidic screening workflow in droplets (from Romero  et al.  2015).

Overview of microfluidic screening workflow in droplets (from Romero et al. 2015).


Selected Publications

"Dissecting enzyme function with microfluidic-based deep mutational scanning"
   P. A. Romero, T. M. Tran, and A. R. Abate
   Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (2015)

"RNA-aptamers-in-droplets (RAPID) high throughput screening for secretory phenotypes."
   J. Abatemarco , M.F. Sarhan, J. M. Wagner , J-L. Lin , L. Liu, W. Hassouneh, S-F. Yuan , H.S. Alper and A.R. Abate
   Nature Communications (2017)

"Cell-free extract based optimization of biomolecular circuits with droplet microfluidics."
   Y. Hori,  C. Kantak, R.M. Murray and A.R. Abate
   Lab on a Chip, DOI: 10.1039/c7lc00552k

"Genetic interaction mapping with microfluidic-based single cell sequencing"
   J. R. Haliburton, W. Shao, A. Deutschbauer, A. Arkin, and A. R. Abate
   PloS One, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0171302