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Meet all deliverables on the Requirements page:
- Document your project on the team wiki
- Create and document Part pages on the Registry for the parts you make
- Submit DNA samples of new Parts to the Registry
- Safety forms
- Judging form
Create a page on your team wiki with clear attribution of each aspect of your project. This page must clearly attribute work done by the students and distinguish it from work done by others, including host labs, advisors, instructors, sponsors, professional website designers, artists, and commercial services.
Document at least one new standard BioBrick Part or Device central to your project and submit this part to the iGEM Registry. You may also document a new application of a BioBrick part from a previous iGEM year, adding that documentation to the part main page. Our new part is:
Experimentally validate that at least one new BioBrick Part or Device of your own design and construction works as expected. Document the characterization of this part in the Main Page section of that Part’s/Device’s Registry entry. Submit this new part to the iGEM Parts Registry. We have experimentally validated the following BioBricks:
Convince the judges you have helped any registered iGEM team from high school, a different track, another university, or another institution in a significant way by, for example, mentoring a new team, characterizing a part, debugging a construct, modeling/simulating their system or helping validate a software/hardware solution to a synbio problem.
- We helped the Wageningen iGEM team with characterizing a part of their project. The team wanted to encapsulate fluorophores in vesicles. To prove that they were indeed able to make the vesicles, confirm their presence and characterize them, they needed pictures made by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). Therefore, we used the TEM in our department to make the pictures for the Wageningen team.
iGEM projects involve important questions beyond the lab bench, for example relating to (but not limited to) ethics, sustainability, social justice, safety, security, and intellectual property rights. Demonstrate how your team has identified, investigated, and addressed one or more of these issues in the context of your project. Your activity could center around education, public engagement, public policy issues, public perception, or other activities.
We have analysed the potential applications of our project in an extensive product analysis and we have done a risk analysis to determine the risks of our project. In order to specify the wants and needs of companies and the general public, we have discussed our project with several stakeholders. Stakeholders, like Nikon and Olympus highlighted, among other things, the need of uniform and spherical biolenses. We also have studied how iGEMs influence, potential and practice could be expanded. Therefore, we have written an analysis about iGEM with recommendations that can be used by, for example, the iGEM headquarters to optimize the potential of iGEM even more. For more details, please visit our Human Practices Silver medal page.
- Based on the product analyses we have concluded that our microlenses are especially useful for solar panels and we have written an extensive business plan about this. The safety analysis showed us that, because of the antibiotic resistance, our microlenses cannot leave the lab. Therefore, we have analysed methods to sterilize the biolenses and eventually we adopted one of the methods in our project. The stakeholder also suggested to make round lenses, since they have advantages over the rod-shaped microlenses we produced. This motivated us to produce spherical E. coli cells. With the gene BolA we succeeded to make the cells spherical. For more details, please visit our Human Practices Gold medal page.
Improve the function OR characterization of an existing BioBrick Part or Device and enter this information in the Registry. Please see the Registry help page on how to document a contribution to an existing part. This part must NOT be from your 2016 part number range.
- During our project we needed to express GFP, but the only GFP BioBrick (BBa_E0840) available in the distribution kit does not contain a promoter, thus it can only be used if cloned downstream of one. It is also for this reason that this part did not have any characterization. We have improved BioBrick BBa_E0840 in 2 different ways: on the one hand, we provided 5 ready-to-go expression devices for green fluorescence (with promoters of different strengths), which can be used by future teams; on the other hand, this has allowed us to provide characterization for this uncharacterized GFP part. Also, all the biobricks created based on this part were characterized by measuring their spectrum and growth cycle.
Demonstrate a functional proof of concept of your project. Your proof of concept must consist of a BioBrick device; a single BioBrick part cannot constitute a proof of concept.
- We successfully expressed the enzyme silicatein from the sponge Tethya aurantia in Escherichia coli, which enabled us to coat the bacterium in polysilicate. Combining this with the overexpression of the bolA gene, this yields a spherical, glass coated cell, which can be used as a microlens.
Show your project working under real-world conditions. To achieve this criterion, you should demonstrate your whole system, or a functional proof of concept working under simulated conditions in the lab.
- In our project, we have designed a potential product to increase light capturing: biological microlenses and tested them under real-world conditions. The lenses will be beneficial for many different applications, such as microscopy, cameras and solar panels. Especially the application of microlens arrays to improve solar cells is promising. Many innovations have already happened in these fields, however our biological microlenses are more environmentally friendly produced and our microlenses are already ten to hundred times smaller than chemically produced microlenses. Since our biolenses contain a cell, physical properties could be different from other microlenses. To see if our microlenses were able to improve solar panels, we tested the under simulated real-world conditions. Since we could not take our cells outside, we placed our cells on a solar panel and placed it in a solar simulator, a device that simulates the light emitted by the sun. Here we have shown that >99% of the incident light is transmitted through our biolenses. This shows that the biolenses have great potential in the former mentioned applications. To implement the biolenses, further research is needed on how to structurally arrange our biolenses.