ROSALIND: Rapid Detection of Chemical Contaminants with In Vitro Transcription Factor-Based Biosensors

Jaeyoung K. Jung, Khalid K. Alam, Julius B. Lucks*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


ROSALIND (RNA Output Sensors Activated by Ligand Induction) is an in vitro biosensing system that detects small molecules using regulated transcription reactions. It consists of three key components: (1) RNA polymerases, (2) allosteric protein transcription factors, and (3) synthetic DNA transcription templates that together regulate the synthesis of a fluorescence-activating RNA aptamer. The system can detect a wide range of chemicals including antibiotics, small molecules, and metal ions. We have demonstrated that ROSALIND can be lyophilized and transported at ambient conditions for water testing on-site. Here, we describe how to set up a ROSALIND reaction for detecting various chemical contaminants in water using a model transcription factor as well as how to build a new ROSALIND sensor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages18
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745
ISSN (Electronic)1940-6029


  • Allosteric transcription factors
  • Biosensors
  • Cell-free synthetic biology
  • In vitro transcription
  • RNA aptamer
  • Water quality monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology


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