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A Cost-Effective On-Site Cell-Free Biomolecules Manufacturing

On-site biomolecules production is a need for many applications such as drug screening, personalized therapeutics, remote clinics, and more. CONTRALL is a silicone chip that enables cost-effective production and purification of biomolecules (proteins, Abs, etc.). The technology is especially useful for the on-site production of simple and complex biomolecules, thus surpassing the need for a cold supply chain.

The technology, CONTRALL, stands for new compartmentalized central dogma activities artificial cell. The artificial cell borders are made of PDMS (a type of silicon). The cell machinery is from cell-free systems enabling the translation of His-proteins. These, in turn, are immobilized (with Ni beads), allowing the introduction of post-translation-modifications enzymes of choice. The artificial cell yields a purified protein with desired post-translational modifications.

The CONTRALL can be easily automated – allowing on-site production of proteins without needing trained personnel or a cold supply chain. Furthermore, the CONTRALL can benefit the manufacturing of complex proteins, replacing cell-free manufacturing methods, or serve as a scientific tool to study post-translation-modifications.

The CONTRALL system can produce a protein yield of ~24 micro gr/ml per cycle using a specific commercial cell-free system; however, it can be easily scaled up using other available cell-free systems. It demonstrated its capabilities by generating the full ubiquitinated form of alpha-synuclein. 

US Patent 

Small. 2019 Jun 17 Programmable On-Chip Artificial Cell Producing Post-Translationally Modified Ubiquitinated Protein. Zilberzwige-Tal S, Levin A, Toprakcioglu Z, Knowles TPJ, Gazit E and Elbaz J.