Microbially derived biosensors for diagnosis, monitoring and epidemiology
Living cells have evolved to detect and process various signals and can self-replicate, presenting an attractive platform for engineering scalable and affordable biosensing devices. Microbes are perfect candidates: they are inexpensive and easy to manipulate and store. Recent advances in synthetic biology promise to streamline the engineering of microbial biosensors with unprecedented capabilities. Here we review the applications of microbially-derived biosensors with a focus on environmental monitoring and healthcare applications. We also identify critical challenges that need to be addressed in order to translate the potential of synthetic microbial biosensors into large-scale, real-world applications.
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