Our team is working to build upon the work of the 2014 Melbourne iGEM team, who worked on in vivo production of star-like peptides in E. coli. Our goal this year is to redesign the star-like peptides from the past project to allow easy cross-linking of individual subunits with each other as well as with various enzymes, with the use of inteins.
This “StarScaffold” system has various potential applications, primarily as a highly customisable hydrogel and as a method of of improving reaction kinetics via enzyme co-localisation. We hope it will also act as a platform technology, with applications in industrial and medical science as well as other synthetic biology systems.
During the months we were setting up our laboratory, being inducted and organising sponsorship, our team spent several months brainstorming and discussing ideas at our weekly meetings. During the orientation and training of team members in the laboratory we continued with the 2014 Melbourne University’s project as a way of practicing common laboratory procedures. During this time the potential of the star peptide became clear to the team and we decided to continue and expand upon this exciting project, using the basic concepts from 2014 but designing our own, improved DNA constructs and expanding the applications of the star peptide.