Synthetic Biology – Drug Delivery Method

Fascinating research paper from UCSD (2016) concerning the use of engineered bacteria to produce cancer drugs, which are programmed to self-destruct after reaching a target population size, to release the drugs at the site of the tumor.

Animal testing in mice have shown to decrease tumor size.  While the therapy did not cure the test subjects it did lead to a 50% increase in survival (UCSD, 2016). It will be interesting to follow this discovery through the development process to learn if this process may be used in humans.


M. Omar Din, Tal Danino, Arthur Prindle, Matt Skalak, Jangir Selimkhanov, Kaitlin Allen, Ellixis Julio, Eta Atolia, Lev S. Tsimring, Sangeeta N. Bhatia, Jeff Hasty. Synchronized cycles of bacterial lysis for in vivo delivery. Nature, 2016; DOI: 10.1038/nature18930

University of California – San Diego. (2016, July 20). Synthetic biology used to limit bacterial growth and coordinate drug release. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 26, 2016 from