Revision as of 15:22, 4 September 2013 by AlexBates (Talk | contribs)


IGEM: Intelligently Genetically Engineered Microglia

Our ambitious project [internal link to PROJECT main sub-page] concerns bringing synthetic biology to the brain in order to try a novel approach to tackling Alzheimer’s Disease [internal link to Alzheimer’s disease]. Microglia [internal link to microglia] are mobile brain cells, making them an ideal chassis [internal link to chassis]. To do this, our proposed treatment would involve extracting microglia from a patient, or using a specially bred immortalised line of human microglia, to avoid rejection, and transfecting it with our new genetic circuit. Implantation into the brain could be performed surgically or using a viral vector - but in order to better control the numbers of genetically engineered microglia (GEM) in the brain micro-neurosurgery may prove best. Our circuit is designed to detect [internal link to detection] amyloid plaques [internal link to neuropathology], attract other microglia, degrade [internal link to degradation] the plaques, reduce [internal link to future directions] neuroinflammation and support [internal link to future direction] dying neurons. Theoretically [internal link to neuropathology], this should halt the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and could lead to other forms of neuro-genetic engineering [internal link to Human Practice main sub-page].