Aalto-Helsinki 2020



Competition Deliverables

We have completed the competition deliverables: wiki, poster, presentation video, promotional video, and judging form.


We are very thankful for all the support we got for our project during this exceptional iGEM year. We have described the work of our team members and other people on our Attributions page.

Project Description

We wanted our project to reflect our values. We sought inspiration from previous iGEM teams and developed a project with a real-world need. Our project description can be found here.


We followed the iGEM values of good sportsmanship and cooperation. We gathered information and work that may help future iGEM teams to succeed in their projects. Our contribution page can be found here.


Engineering Success

Engineering success has been demonstrated in our overall project by following the engineering design cycle. Our Engineering Success page can be found here.


One of the most fundamental values of iGEM is open science and collaboration. We enjoyed collaborating with many iGEM teams, among others, in project troubleshooting and considering our project's ethical aspects. See more in our Collaborations page.

Human Practices

Our team welcomed the challenge of bringing together different stakeholder views and the general public's concerns when developing our project. Our primary educational effort was the development of a mobile game. Our Human Practices work can be found here.

Proposed Implementation

We envisioned how our innovation could be used in the real world. See more on our Implementation page.


Integrated Human Practices

Our integrated human practices work combined all the ethical, societal, and environmental considerations we made throughout the project. Diverse stakeholder views refined the direction of our project. See our Integrated Human Practices page.

Project Modelling

Interaction between wet lab and dry lab has been one of the key elements that brought our project to excellence. The modeling done by our team can be found here.

Proof of Concept

We succeeded in demonstrating that our biosensor is likely to work in a relevant context. Our Proof of Concept page can be found here.


We collaborated with the Copenhagen iGEM team throughout the iGEM year. Our Partnership page can be found here.

Science Communication

Our team aimed at educating the general public about three main topics: wastewater treatment, pharma disposal, and synthetic biology. Our Education page can be found here.


Integrated Human Practices

Our aim, guided by our common appreciation to pure waters, is to help wastewater treatment plants to remove micropollutants. To assure our project is useful in the real world, we discussed with over 30 experts from academia, wastewater treatment plants, industry, environmental organizations and legislation. These discussions developed our project in various ways and the main conclusions were: (1) With the help of our biosensor, the removal process can be energy, resource and time efficient. Without it, real-time monitoring is challenging. (2) One source of pharma pollution is improper disposal which could be easily reduced. We responded to this with educational approaches. (3) Our main task is to increase the sensitivity of our biosensor to meet real world needs, which we worked towards in the wet lab. On our human practices storyline, we explain the ethical, societal and environmental considerations we have made throughout the project.


Our team aimed at educating the general public about three main topics: wastewater treatment, pharma disposal and synthetic biology. In addition to attending numerous seminars, symposia and delivering workshops, where we interacted with the general public, our main educational effort was the development of a mobile game, Fix the Flow, which addresses all of our education topics. The aim of the game is to acquire cleaning equipment and different types of bacteria in order to clean contamination from wastewater. As the game progresses, the player needs to upgrade bacteria with new plasmids. The game development included two test rounds with the general public and translation to 13 different languages. We also created a campaign to raise awareness of pharma disposal, which is often implemented incorrectly and leads to pollution. The campaign included flyers, an informative video and a website that were distributed at a local pharmacy and via social media.


Interaction between wet lab and dry lab has been one of the key elements that brought our project to excellence. The main challenge in our project is to build a biosensor that is sensitive enough to meet the needs of wastewater treatment plants. For this challenge, our team utilized deterministic modelling in MatLab to model the range and enhancement of sensitivity of our biosensor. Exploratory modelling in Rosetta was used to increase binding affinity of our ligands, erythromycin and clarithromycin, to the transcription factor MphR. Thanks to deterministic modelling, we were able to increase the sensitivity of our sensor experimentally by changing to a different promoter. In Rosetta, we predicted modifications to 9 different amino acids in the binding site of MphR and ordered 5 best outputs to be tried experimentally in wet lab. One of the modifications succeeded to increase sensitivity of the biosensor.

Special thanks to HSY for all their support

Kemistintie 1, Espoo, Finland