CRISPRi-Mediated NIMPLY Logic Gate for Fine-Tuning the Whole-Cell Sensing toward Simple Urine Glucose Detection

Shih I. Tan, I. Son Ng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Whole-cell biosensors have been regarded as a prominent alternative to chemical and physical biosensors due to their renewability, environmental friendliness, and biocompatibility. However, there is still a lack of noninvasive measurements of urine glucose, which plays a vital role in monitoring the risk of diabetes in the healthcare system, via whole-cell biosensors. In this study, we characterized a glucose-inducible promoter and further enhanced the sensing performance using three genetic effectors, which encompassed ribozyme regulator (RiboJ), clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat interference (CRISPRi), and plasmid-based T7RNA polymerase (PDT7), to develop the noninvasive glucose biosensor by fluorescent signal. As a result, RiboJ increased dynamic range to 2989 au, but declined signal-to-noise (S/N) to 1.59, while CRISPRi-mediated NIMPLY gate intensified both dynamic range to 5720 au and S/N to 4.58. The use of single PDT7 orthogonal with T7 promoter in cells (i.e., P strain) achieved a 44 180 au of dynamic range with S/N at 3.08. By coupling the PDT7 and NIMPLY-mediated CRISPRi, we constructed an optimum PIGAS strain with the highest S/N value of 4.95. Finally, we adopted the synthetic bacteria into a microdevice to afford an integrative and portable system for daily urine glucose inspection, which would be an alternative approach for medical diagnosis in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412-421
Number of pages10
JournalACS Synthetic Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Feb 19

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)


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