Engineering cell metabolism for bioproduction not only consumes building blocks and energy molecules (e.g., ATP) but also triggers energetic inefficiency inside the cell. The metabolic burdens on microbial workhorses lead to undesirable physiological changes, placing hidden constraints on host productivity. We discuss cell physiological responses to metabolic burdens, as well as strategies to identify and resolve the carbon and energy burden problems, including metabolic balancing, enhancing respiration, dynamic regulatory systems, chromosomal engineering, decoupling cell growth with production phases, and co-utilization of nutrient resources. To design robust strains with high chances of success in industrial settings, novel genome-scale models (GSMs),13 C-metabolic flux analysis (MFA), and machine-learning approaches are needed for weighting, standardizing, and predicting metabolic costs.
Highlights • Members of the phylum Proteobacteria have a low abundance in the gut of healthy humans. • We provide an overview of correlations between a bloom of Proteobacteria and a diseased state. • We explain driving mechanisms for the uncontrolled expansion of the Proteobacteria population. • Proteobacterial load is suggested as a potential diagnostic criterion for dysbiosis and disease.
Antibacterial agents are very important in the textile industry, water disinfection, medicine, and food packaging. Organic compounds used for disinfection have some disadvantages, including toxicity to the human body, therefore, the interest in inorganic disinfectants such as metal oxide nanoparticles (NPs) is increasing. This review focuses on the properties and applications of inorganic nanostructured materials and their surface modifications, with good antimicrobial activity. Such improved antibacterial agents locally destroy bacteria, without being toxic to the surrounding tissue. We also provide an overview of opportunities and risks of using NPs as antibacterial agents. In particular, we discuss the role of different NP materials.
Bone disorders are of significant concern due to increase in the median age of our population. Traditionally, bone grafts have been used to restore damaged bone. Synthetic biomaterials are now being used as bone graft substitutes. These biomaterials were initially selected for structural restoration based on their biomechanical properties. Later scaffolds were engineered to be bioactive or bioresorbable to enhance tissue growth. Now scaffolds are designed to induce bone formation and vascularization. These scaffolds are often porous, made of biodegradable materials that harbor different growth factors, drugs, genes, or stem cells. In this review, we highlight recent advances in bone scaffolds and discuss aspects that still need to be improved.
Nanotechnology has become one of the most promising technologies applied in all areas of science. Metal nanoparticles produced by nanotechnology have received global attention due to their extensive applications in the biomedical and physiochemical fields. Recently, synthesizing metal nanoparticles using microorganisms and plants has been extensively studied and has been recognized as a green and efficient way for further exploiting microorganisms as convenient nanofactories. Here, we explore and detail the potential uses of various biological sources for nanoparticle synthesis and the application of those nanoparticles. Furthermore, we highlight recent milestones achieved for the biogenic synthesis of nanoparticles by controlling critical parameters, including the choice of biological source, incubation period, pH, and temperature.
Highlights • The paper reviews a recent development in soft robotics. • Soft materials in animals inspire a new wave of robotics. • Current enabling technologies in soft robotics and challenges are discussed. • Potential convergence between soft robotics and tissue engineering is introduced.
Considerable advances in point-of-care testing (POCT) devices stem from innovations in cellphone (CP)-based technologies, paper-based assays (PBAs), lab-on-a-chip (LOC) platforms, novel assay formats, and strategies for long-term reagent storage. Various commercial CP platforms have emerged to provide cost-effective mobile health care and personalized medicine. Such assay formats, as well as low-cost PBAs and LOC-based assays, are paving the way to robust, automated, simplified, and cost-effective POCT. Strategies have also been devised to stabilize reagent storage and usage at ambient temperature. Nevertheless, successful commercialization and widespread implementation of such clinically viable technologies remain subject to several challenges and pending issues.
Highlights • Major advances in the development of wearable electrochemical sensors and biosensors. • Non-invasive monitoring of chemical constituents in sweat, tears, or saliva. • Monitoring of wearer's health or fitness.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) in cancer treatment involves the uptake of a photosensitizer by cancer tissue followed by photoirradiation. The use of nanoparticles as carriers of photosensitizers is a very promising approach because these nanomaterials can satisfy all the requirements for an ideal PDT agent. This review describes and compares the different individual types of nanoparticles that are currently in use for PDT applications. Recent advances in the use of nanoparticles, including inorganic oxide-, metallic-, ceramic-, and biodegradable polymer-based nanomaterials as carriers of photosensitizing agents, are highlighted. We describe the nanoparticles in terms of stability, photocytotoxic efficiency, biodistribution and therapeutic efficiency. Finally, we summarize exciting new results concerning the improvement of the photophysical properties of nanoparticles by means of biphotonic absorption and upconversion.
In this review we attempt to clarify the notion of what is meant by the term antibacterial surfaces and categorise the approaches that are commonly used in the design of antibacterial surfaces. Application of surface coatings and the modification of the surface chemistry of substrata are generally considered to be a chemical approach to surface modification (as are surface polymerisation, functionalisation, and derivatisation), whereas, modification of the surface architecture of a substrate can be considered a physical approach. Here, the antifouling and bactericidal effects of antibacterial surfaces are briefly discussed. Finally, several recent efforts to design a new generation of antibacterial surfaces, which are based on mimicking the surface nanotopography of natural surfaces, are considered.