Human Practices Gold
Our original idea for this project was to engineer bacteria to secrete therapeutic factors when placed within the wound beds of chronic wounds. After further discussion with professionals in the field, such as Dr. Kendra Rumbaugh, we decided to move away from actually placing bacteria within the wound. This decision was partially due to the negative public connotation of E. coli, and also because inserting any kind of living organism into the human body could lead to potential unwanted interactions, such as unintended immune responses. We decided as a team that E. coli would be one of the easiest model organisms to work with, as we are a first year iGEM team and had plenty to learn in terms of synthetic biology techniques. Instead of designing bacteria to be placed inside the wound, we designed, built, and tested a bioreactor to grow our bacteria and mass-produce our therapeutic proteins for further isolation and purification. With Dr. Kendra Rumbaugh’s expertise in the wound care field, she was also able to help us develop our approach to creating a scaffold that mimics the wound matrix and guide us to appropriate sources on the subject.
Many thanks to the Rumbaugh Lab!