As a hallmark of iGEM, collaboration has been an important part to strengthen contacts and promote friendships with other teams. In 2016 iGEM, we, SYSU-MEDICINE, communicated with several teams and gained a lot.

AHUT_China and NAU-China
Newsletter held by XMU-China

Collaboration with Team ShanghaiTechChina_B

· Team ShanghaiTechChina_B aimed to confirm the therapeutic effect of the over-expression epidermal growth factor (EGF) on E.coli in colitis microenvironment and hoped to utilize the peptide EGF secreted by the engineered bacteria to repair the colon tissue in patients.
· Our team established the inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) model to confirm the homing capability of the modified bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs).
As a result, we assisted Team ShanghaiTechChina_B with animal model establishment to confirm the function of EGF derived from modified E.coli to prove the effect of the peptide in vivo.

Experiment Design
During the competition, we received the purified EGF peptide expressed by the engineered bacteria from Team ShanghaiTechChina_B. We established the IBD mice model and injected the EGF solution into the colon by cocolysis.
We referred to the related article to select the effective way (TNBS) to establish the model and examine the effect of EGF.[1][2]After IBD mice model establishment,
1. Selected several similar mice and weighed them on the second day of fasting.
2. Chose half of them for EGF solution enema as an experiment group, and the rest of them were dealt with normal saline as the control group.
3. Weighed each of them at the same time every day.
4. After the fifth day, sacrificed the mice by cervical dislocation and measured the length of colons.

Experiment Results

Table of Mice Weight
Sample Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5
1 20.45 19.64 18.89 17.63 17.66
1 20.45 19.64 18.89 17.63 17.66
2 19.55 18.31 18.08 17.98 18.03
3 22.53 22.01 22.10 22.49 22.17
4 23.46 22.98 22.88 23.36 23.98

Figure 7.1

Figure 7.2 Figure 7.3

After injecting EGF solution into the colon by coloclysis, we were excited to see that the colon length and the weight loss improved a lot comparing with the IBD mice without injection, which indicated that EGF derived from modified E.coli had repair effect on the damaged colon in IBD model.


Conference with Team AHUT_China and NAU-China

On 28th, September, 2016, we were invited and held a conference on iGEM projects with Team AHUT_China and NAU-China. It was a great opportunity for us to publicize our team and projects in other cities. On this conference, we introduced great therapeutic effects of our engineered MSCs on inflammatory diseases and shared different opinions on cell therapy. We were excited to find that most audience were interested in this new chassis (MSCs) including its phenotype, function and low immunogenicity. After that, they raised questions on our biosafety of our engineered MSCs and gave some suggestion to us. We were pleased to communicate with people from different fields.

Figure 7.4

Participation in Newsletter held by XMU-China

Since it was the first time for our team, SYSU-MEDICINE, to participate in iGEM competition, we were eager to publicize us as well as our projects. Learning that Newsletter is a great stage for iGEMers to communicate and collaborate with each other, we showed ourselves by publishing our ideas, questionnaire, photos and so on. Surprisingly, we received some replies and suggestions.

Figure 7.5

Meet-up with Team NEU-China

It’s important to find new friends in iGEM. On 20th, August, the team leader of NEU-China happened to come to Guangzhou, China for a summer camp. We met him and bring him to sight-seeing around. Referring to collaboration, he mentioned that their team might need modelling help at later phase of the project. We discussed about assistance and drew a conclusion that if time and energy permit, we will help them with modelling.

Figure 7.6
In September, we had cooperation with them. Since our experiments had a lot of things in common, we cooperated in various aspects of the whole project. Especially, we had a deep discussion of the concept of modelling and exchanged views about the details, such as the way to predict the density of factors in the mice. At first, they were interested in our parts’confirmation in animal models, like fitting of fluorescence intensity. Later, they wanted to introduce that in their own models. We also gave them a little instruction about how to predict the factors in mice and analysis the data.

Communication with Team TMMU_China

At the very beginning, we talked about the Neutral Network with regards to its usage as classification, and regression model. We were excited to find out that both of our teams took similar ways to predict values. When realizing that there was a problem about how to define parameters, we both found a method to solve it. It was so happy to get the chance to communicate with someone who owned passion towards data analysis and we even promised to meet in Boston and attended some biostatistics classes in Harward.

Participation in CCiC
(Conference of China iGEMer Committee, 2016)

This year, Conference of China iGEMer Committee, 2016 is successfully held by School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University. (2nd~4th, September)
After invited, our team presented a poster and share our story in SYSU-CCiC conference. As a medical team, we brought a new therapeutical tool, mesenchymal stem cells, to participants, who were mostly not familiar with them. Surprisingly, we were excited that our project, MSCavalry: MSCs of next generation, attracted many attenders, which arose utmost praise and encouragement to us all.
SYSU-CCiC conference also provided us with an opportunity to communicate with other teams. During the conference, we found both advantages and disadvantages in our project and acquire significant suggestions, such as biosafety, ethics, efficiency of parts, etc. when we communicated with others. In next 2 months, we tried to solve them and change into better. We sincerely hoped conference next year can attract more teams and be more influential.

Figure 7.7

Collaboration with SYSU_China

As a new team for iGEM competition, we had confronted various problems since we established our team. Consequently, we asked SYSU-China, SYSU’s first iGEM team, for help, such as details of registration and how to understand judging criteria. As for part submission, they provided us backbone plasmid, pSB1C3. In addition, we gave them reagent for Interlab. We were pleased to learn from each other.

Figure 7.8
Reference can be seen in

[1] Wirtz S, Neufert C, Weigmann B, et al. Chemically induced mouse models of intestinal inflammation [J]. Nature protocols, 2007, 2(3): 541-546.
[2] Chen Q Q, Yan L, Wang C Z, et al. Mesenchymal stem cells alleviate TNBS-induced colitis by modulating inflammatory and autoimmune responses[J]. World J Gastroenterol, 2013, 19(29): 4702-4717.