Dynamic RNA synthetic biology: new principles, practices and potential

Yueyi Li, Anibal Arce, Tyler Lucci, Rebecca A. Rasmussen, Julius B. Lucks*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


An increased appreciation of the role of RNA dynamics in governing RNA function is ushering in a new wave of dynamic RNA synthetic biology. Here, we review recent advances in engineering dynamic RNA systems across the molecular, circuit and cellular scales for important societal-scale applications in environmental and human health, and bioproduction. For each scale, we introduce the core concepts of dynamic RNA folding and function at that scale, and then discuss technologies incorporating these concepts, covering new approaches to engineering riboswitches, ribozymes, RNA origami, RNA strand displacement circuits, biomaterials, biomolecular condensates, extracellular vesicles and synthetic cells. Considering the dynamic nature of RNA within the engineering design process promises to spark the next wave of innovation that will expand the scope and impact of RNA biotechnologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)817-829
Number of pages13
JournalRNA biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023


  • RNA dynamics
  • RNA origami
  • RNA strand displacement circuits
  • RNA synthetic biology
  • biomaterials
  • biomolecular condensates
  • extracellular vesicles
  • riboswitches
  • ribozymes
  • synthetic cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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