From DNA on beads to proteins in a million droplets

  • Ana Restrepo

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Cell-free transcription and translation systems promise to accelerate and simplify the engineering of synthetic proteins, biological circuits or metabolic pathways. Microfluidic droplet platforms can generate millions of reactions in parallel. This allows cell-free reactions to be miniaturized down to picoliter volumes. Nevertheless, the true potential of microfluidics have not been reached for cell-free bioengineering. Better approaches are needed for reaching sufficient in-drop expression levels while efficiently creating DNA diversity among droplets. This work develops a droplet microfluidic platform for single or multiple protein expression from a single DNA coated bead per droplet. This opens up the possibility to diversify a million droplets for synthetic biology applications.
Date of AwardMay 2019
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Biological, Environmental Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorStefan Arold (Supervisor)


  • Cell-free systems
  • Synthetic Biology
  • Droplet microfluidic
  • DNA assembly

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