Micro/nanofabricated environments for synthetic biology
A better understanding of how confinement, crowding and reduced dimensionality modulate reactivity and reaction dynamics will aid in the rational and systematic discovery of functionality in complex biological systems. Artificial microfabricated and nanofabricated structures have helped elucidate the effects of nanoscale spatial confinement and segregation on biological behavior, particularly when integrated with microfluidics, through precise control in both space and time of diffusible signals and binding interactions. Examples of nanostructured interfaces for synthetic biology include the development of cell-like compartments for encapsulating biochemical reactions, nanostructured environments for fundamental studies of diffusion, molecular transport and biochemical reaction kinetics, and regulation of biomolecular interactions as functions of microfabricated and nanofabricated topological constraints.
► Nanostructures function as artificial interfaces for synthetic biology. ► Nanostructures elucidate effects of spatial confinement and segregation on biological behavior. ► This review describes recent in vitro synthetic biology platforms enabled by nanofabrication.
Journal: Current Opinion in Biotechnology - Volume 22, Issue 4, August 2011, Pages 516–526