Synthetic in vitro circuits

Adam J. Hockenberry, Michael C. Jewett*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Inspired by advances in the ability to construct programmable circuits in living organisms, in vitro circuits are emerging as a viable platform for designing, understanding, and exploiting dynamic biochemical circuitry. In vitro systems allow researchers to directly access and manipulate biomolecular parts without the unwieldy complexity and intertwined dependencies that often exist in vivo. Experimental and computational foundations in DNA, DNA/RNA, and DNA/RNA/protein based circuitry have given rise to systems with more than 100 programmed molecular constituents. Functionally, they have diverse capabilities including: complex mathematical calculations, associative memory tasks, and sensing of small molecules. Progress in this field is showing that cell-free synthetic biology is a versatile testing ground for understanding native biological circuits and engineering novel functionality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-259
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Chemical Biology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Aug 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry


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