The iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition) is the largest annual international competition in synthetic biology. Teams from best world universities competes here with their researches and scientifically based projects which solve actual world problems. We are proud to be part of Vilnius-Lithuania iGEM 2020 team helping them out with our mechanical engineering skills and knowledge.
The Vilnius-Lithuania iGEM 2020 team project focuses on a critical issue in the food industry and aquaculture - infectious diseases in fish, which in turn wipes off more than $ 6 billion annually in fish farming industry (World Bank, 2014). While Earth resources are scare, the growing human population is leading to a growing demand for them, thus ability to effectively and sustainably produce high levels of food is becoming more an more relevant issue. The presumption of this project is that identified appropriate mechanisms for disease prevention, detection and treatment will greatly reduce production losses caused by these infectious pathogens and will eliminate the use of antibiotics in fish farms.
Vilnius-Lithuania iGEM 2020 project consists of three main parts:
Early detection of exogenous bacterial diseases by the use of strip test;
Treatment based on the action of exolysins;
Prevention based on the development of proteins immobilized in alginate beads for vaccination.
As it can be easily guessed "Micromolds" team will mainly contribute in the first part of this huge project. We are really proud to be part of Vilnius-Lithuania iGEM 2020 team helping to design and manufacture strip testing device to indicate infectious bacteria in fish farms. However, it is not our first time we participate in collaborations with Vilnius University. Our task is to design 3D model of strip test which could be later on manufactured with 3D printing technology FDM. This will be only a prototype to demonstrate the testing procedure on fish farm site.
The main design constrains we have discussed for this strip test device are:
Material must be suitable for FDM 3D printing;
Sample well should have converging form for sample liquid to freely drain inside;
The housing should have transparent section for test and control lines indication;
Fixation at points of membranes should be minimal not to interfere diffusion;
Strip test device should be reusable with one-time use strips;
Dimensions: height: 4 mm; length: 70 mm; width: 10 mm.
This project is still in process and will be updated.