Synthetic biology involves “the design and construction of new biological parts, devices, and systems” and “the re-design of existing, natural biological systems for useful purposes”. In brief, the intention of synthetic biology is to enable rational design of biological systems for novel functions and programmable behavior.

The strategic convergence of chemical engineering and biological science in the form of synthetic biology brings about a paradigm shift in the way chemical engineers can directly apply chemical engineering principles, models and tools to make biology easier to engineer.

The synthetic biology special issue of Chemical Engineering Science comprises 15 article contributions from laboratories worldwide, featuring technologies and tools development for new biological systems, design of new genetic circuits for new applications, and computational methods to aid genetic systems design. The full special issue is available on ScienceDirect.

Materials Today has specially selected several papers from the special issue: to access the full papers simply log in with/register for your free Materials Today account and follow the links below:

Synthetic regulatory RNAs as tools for engineering biological systems: Design and applications, Sang Woo Seo, Gyoo Yeol Jung

Understanding and exploiting feedback in synthetic biology, Taliman Afroz, Chase L. Beisel

Characterization of a quorum sensing device for synthetic biology design: Experimental and modeling validation, Nazanin Saeidi, Mohamed Arshath, Matthew Wook Chang, Chueh Loo Poh

Challenges and opportunities in synthetic biology for chemical engineers, Yunzi Luo, Jung-Kul Lee, Huimin Zhao