Synthetic Biology and Robotics - The Integration that can Save Lives

The LIKA-CESAR BRASIL proposes the development of a biosensor for the detection of breast cancer with the help of synthetic biology and robotics. The idea was to build a robotic system linked to genetic engineering capable of processing and prepare small samples of blood in an automated manner.

For this our team, created the Coli Alert for the BreastBotSensor. This system is one robot to DNA/RNA extraction coupled by an electrochemical biosensor and linked to one quality control, the ColiAlert, responsible to confirm the process of nucleic acid extraction.

The team believes that the best way to solve problems is joining technologies. For this, we think that synthetic biology should go hand in hand with robotics and information technology. Then our project was to join the synthetic biology with the robots, aiming to fight against to the one of biggest health problems: The Breast Cancer.


The bot was built by Team LIKA-CESAR-Brasil. It is a robot responsible for automating the extraction of nucleic acids from blood. Most of the pieces were created from a 3D printer to cheapen the system. It consists of a eletric syringe, a robotic arm and a centrifuge together to perform the entire procedure. Nucleic acids extracted by Bot, will be sent for analysis in BreastSensor.


The team also made an alert system of cell lysis called ColiAlert . This system was created to be the quality control of Bot. It is a genetically engineered bacteria able to alert the process of cell lysis by color change. Under normal conditions the ColiAlert is pink, but after cell lysis, it becomes yellow. After going through this system of quality control, the sample is ready to proceed to BreastSensor.


To finalize the project, the team created the BreastSensot. It is an electrochemical DNA biosensor capable of recognizing a biomarker for breast cancer. This biomarker is a which has a high expression in the early stage of this type of cancer.The biosensor constructed has the ability to perform an early diagnosis of a patient with breast cancer.

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