2021 AMI Online Salon

Synthetic Bacteria for use in Inflammation Detection

Project Details

  • Entrant Name:  Abeeshan Selvabaskaran
  • Client: Marc Dryer
  • Copyright: Abeeshan Selvabaskaran, 2021
  • Medium/software used: Maya, Blender 3D, Adobe Photoshop
  • Final presentation format: Print, Journal Cover
  • Primary Audience: Educated Lay Audience

Project Description

The field of engineered probiotics presents itself as a promising approach to build non-invasive diagnostic and therapeutic tools for the gut. By genetically engineering commensal bacterial strains with transcriptional switches, memory of inflammation can be retained. This can subsequently be tested in stool samples or intestinal biopsies and provide more information than current tests can. In this study, it was shown that synthetic circuits in engineered strains of E. Coli were stable in mouse models and could successfully be used as a diagnostic tool for inflammation. I created this editorial illustration as a journal cover to engage an educated lay audience to read the feature article. I depicted the synthetic bacterial strains by incorporating mechanical components and placed them in a gut microbiome full with intestinal villi. The focus is placed on an individual bacteria examining an inflammatory lesion in the colon.