Description: The following text shall inform you about what we will try to achieve this year and give you a little insight about how and why we chose the topic we will work on. In our brainstorming phase, the initial idea that met with broad approval in the team, included reversible inhibition of an enzyme to improve a lab method. So we dived into research about enzyme inhibition and came up with several possibilities and approaches. Especially "Photocaging", a method using photoliable molecules to reversibly inactivate all kinds of compounds and reactivate them with light, really awakened interest in all of us. Along with knowledge about inhibition, more and more application possibilities occurred and gained shape as we talked to several supporters in academics as well as in industry. In the end, the project that suits the iGEM spirit most and offers a highly educational and interesting experience for us, was the inhibition of a protease for washing detergents. So far, proteases in washing detergents are being inhibited by boric acid and tons of it are needed every year. Its handling in this scale is complicated and additionally, the ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) classified this chemical as a substance of very high concern. If we can make our idea work, the protease in the washing detergents would be produced inactive and could be activated with a small, inexpensive device that can be used with any normal washing machine. Thus, the amount of chemical needed could be reduced by a great deal, as only one molecule per enzyme is necessary for inhibition. That would make a difference, especially for chemical workers, who have to handle tons of boric acid, but also for every household and sewage disposal. As a side project to the development of the “uncaging” device for the washing machine, our engineers will also work on an affordable “Dark Bench” that will make sterile handling of light-sensitive chemicals, needed for our work, more easy.
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Year: 2016Visit Wiki
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Updated at: 8/9/16