Advanced Biofoundry Shenzhen

Date:06-01-2020   |   【Print】 【close

Project Background 

"Advanced Biofoundry Shenzhen” is one of the key projects for the priority launch and layout of Shenzhen Science City. It is invested and constructed by the Shenzhen Government. Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, CAS is the lead unit for its construction, with the participation of Life Science Research Institute of BGI and Shenzhen Second People’s Hospital. It aims to create a two-in-one synthetic biology research platform for the “cloud lab” of users and the “smart lab” of operators. It is not only open to the academic community, but also open to the industry. 

Project Significance 

Synthetic biology is an emerging interdisciplinary subject based on life sciences, engineering, information science and other quantitative basic sciences. Multiple research directions including bio-functional molecular synthesis, gene line synthesis, metabolic pathway synthesis, gene combination, primordial cell synthesis, multicellular systems, synthesis of non-natural elements, simulation of living systems and etc. The research goal is to use engineering design concepts to design, transform and even re-synthesize organisms to create artificial life bodies, that is, synthetic life. Synthetic biology is thought to bring the third biotechnological revolution following the “DNA double helix discovery” and the “human genome sequencing project”. 

The high complexity of synthetic living organisms determines that it still requires a large number of engineering trial and error experiments, that is, the closed loop of “design-synthesis-test-learn” needs to be completed quickly, at low cost, and in multiple cycles, ultimately achieving rational and predictable synthesis by design. This goes far beyond the scope of traditional labor-intensive research methods and requires a transformative research platform and approach. Based on this fundamental need, the major technology infrastructure for synthetic biology research will provide a basic research platform that combines rational design with engineering trial and error. 

Project Content 

The key construction contents of Advanced Biofoundry Shenzhen include three platforms: design-learn platform, synthetic testing platform, and user testing platform. 

The design-learn platform utilizes biological information, mathematical models, biosynthetic big data and artificial intelligence to provide experimental solutions for specific scientific needs, and to generate executable instructions for synthetic test platforms. Software tools and databases are mainly based on independent research and development.  

The synthetic testing platform is mainly composed of five major systems, including large fragment DNA (assisted by Life Science Research Institute of BGI), phage, bacteria, yeast, and higher animal cell synthesis engineering system (assisted by Shenzhen Second People’s Hospital). It will perform specific functions as a “function island” by building an automation module and achieve flexible integration of various types of “production lines” based on different demands.  

The user detection platform integrates protein and metabolite analysis, chassis cell amplification cultivation, and advanced imaging three detection systems, to perform multi-modal cross-scale comprehensive testing of the synthesized products.

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