Cell-free gene expression: an expanded repertoire of applications

Adam D. Silverman, Ashty S. Karim, Michael C. Jewett*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

301 Scopus citations


Cell-free biology is the activation of biological processes without the use of intact living cells. It has been used for more than 50 years across the life sciences as a foundational research tool, but a recent technical renaissance has facilitated high-yielding (grams of protein per litre), cell-free gene expression systems from model bacteria, the development of cell-free platforms from non-model organisms and multiplexed strategies for rapidly assessing biological design. These advances provide exciting opportunities to profoundly transform synthetic biology by enabling new approaches to the model-driven design of synthetic gene networks, the fast and portable sensing of compounds, on-demand biomanufacturing, building cells from the bottom up, and next-generation educational kits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-170
Number of pages20
JournalNature Reviews Genetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology


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