A new proof-of-concept study details how an automated system driven by artificial intelligence can design, build, test and learn complex biochemical pathways to efficiently produce lycopene, a red pigment found in tomatoes and commonly used as a food coloring, opening the door to a wide range of biosynthetic applications, researchers report.
“Biofoundries are factories that mimic the foundries that build semiconductors, but are designed for biological systems instead of electrical systems,” said Huimin Zhao, a University of Illinois chemical and biomolecular engineering professor who led the research.
Previous biofoundry efforts have produced a wide variety of products such as chemicals, fuels, and engineered cells and proteins, the researchers said, but those studies were not performed in a fully automated manner.
Zhao envisions fully automated biofoundries being a future revolution in smart manufacturing, not unlike what automation did for the automobile industry.
“A hundred years ago, people built cars by hand,” he said. “Now, that process is much more economical and efficient thanks to automation, and we imagine the same for biomanufacturing of chemicals and materials.”
News Source: https://techxplore.com
Post time: Nov-15-2019