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BME Seminar Series: Nigel Reuel, PhD

April 18 @ 12:00 PM 1:00 PM

Closing the Loop: Protein and Cell Sensors for AI Guided Design and Control

headshot of Nigel Reuel

Nigel Reuel, PhD
Associate Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Iowa State University

Proteins are a significant class of bio-manufactured molecules used as therapies (e.g. antibodies, growth factors) and industrial catalysts (e.g. hydrolases). Cell therapies (e.g. Car-T cells, stem cells) are another growing class of bio-manufactured products. In each case, the limitations of time and cost inherent in cell-based manufacturing dramatically reduces the ability to rapidly prototype, test, and optimize new protein and cell products. Recent work in our group has centered on the design of novel protein and cell sensors, coupled to cost-effective cell free expression techniques to improve the throughput of design, and provide the level of data necessary for machine-guided (artificial intelligence) optimization and process control. This talk will cover new optical nanoprobes based on near-infrared, fluorescent single walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT) for screening hydrolytic enzyme activity, protein binding, and cell membrane disruption. It will also cover our group’s contributions to frugal cell-free techniques including high volume cell extract processing, extract improved for disulfide bond formation, anaerobic preconditioning of extract for improved yield especially in microtiter plates, and protocols for rapid use of gene fragments chemically synthesized. Finally, our advances in radio frequency based resonant sensors for suspended and adherent cells will be detailed. This final vignette will also give an opportunity to share our group’s interest and approach to technology transfer, by sharing the progress of Skroot Laboratory Inc.

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