ACM Journal on Emerging Technologies in Computing Systems vol:9 issue:4
Recent developments demonstrate that the combination of microbiology with micro- and nanoelectronics is a successful approach to develop new miniaturized sensing devices and other technologies. In the last decade, there is a shift from the optimization of the abiotic components, e.g. the chip, to the improvement of the processing capabilities of cells through genetic engineering. The synthetic biology approach will not only give rise to systems with new functionalities, but will also improve the robustness and speed of their response towards applied signals. To this end, the development of new genetic circuits has to be guided by computational design methods that enable to tune and optimize the circuit response. As the successful design of genetic circuits is highly dependent on the quality and reliability of its composing elements, intense characterization of standard biological parts will be crucial for an efficient rational design process in the development of new genetic circuits. Microengineered devices can thereby offer a new analytical approach for the study of complex biological parts and systems. By summarizing the recent techniques in creating new synthetic circuits and in integrating biology with microdevices, this review aims at emphasizing the power of combining synthetic biology with microfluidics and microelectronics.