Institut für Systembiotechnologie

Implanted microbes as living therapeutics – iSBio-Team programs medical cell factories in the new Leibniz ScienceCampus

Press release July 12, 2020

The treatment of chronic diseases aims more and more at the of use biological therapeutics, which enable individual and long-term dosage. In this regard, the Leibniz Society now launched the Leibniz Science Campus "Living therapeutic materials" for 4 years.

Starting in July 2020, working groups from the Saarland University sites at Saarbrücken (Biotechnology, Pharmacy) and Homburg (Medicine), the Leibniz Institute for New Materials (INM) and the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences (HIPS) will join forces to design innovative materials, which provide active substances by streamlined programmed bacteria, to be used in the human body for a long time, if required. The iSBio team will add its metabolic engineering expertise to the interdisciplinary project. For this purpose, actinobacteria will be genetically programmed using systems metabolic engineering and embedded into implantable carrier materials. The material will be permeable for the active ingredient to be released, but will prevent bacteria from entering the human body. In further rounds of optimization, the microbes will be equipped with sensory functions, to synthetize the active ingredients in response to certain physiological conditions.

Hereby, the iSBio will team up with Institute for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology the Saarland University (Prof. Andriy Luzhetskyy) and the Leibniz Institute for New Materials (Prof. Aránzazu del Campo, Dr. Shrikrishnan Sankaran) and other science campus partners.