We completed the following competition deliverables by creating a wiki, a poster, submitting a presentation video, submitting a project promotion video and filling out the judging form.
We want to thank all the amazing people who made this project possible for us, especially during this pandemic. You can get to know all these people on our team page.
We showed our journey creating the project and why this topic is important for everyone, you can read the summary in our overview.
The iGEM parts reg is a core part of the iGEM engineering biology approach. Proper documentation to describe the DNA parts functionality is crucial to enable future teams to find and choose the parts which are best suited for their project. During our project we constructed synthetic nanobodies by so called “nanobody grafting” and contributedthem for further iGEM teams.Furthermore, we introduced the SAW -the next generation of biosensors- to the iGEM community.
We created and optimized the pcb as part of our hardware. By doing so, we designed, tested and optimized the pcbs, considering
Especially during a pandemic, we realize how much the iGEM community contributes to successful research projects. We mentored the first time iGEM participant Hannover in designing and implementing a wiki. Read more on our Collaborationpage!
We reached out, and throughout our whole project we worked hand in hand with people affected by our research to design a project that is responsible and good for the world. We have started a survey to find out how people imagine a contraceptive method. Furthermore we introduced synthetic biology to young children creating an interactive audio book. Learn more on our human practicepage
The majority of participants of our survey are interested in new and alternative methods of contraception such as our product WavySense. Read more whom we plan to reach with our product and how we would implement our project to the real world!
Integrated Human Practices
We want to see synthetic biology solving the problems of the future. Read moreabout how our activities impacted our project in purpose of design and execution by interacting with various experts.
In order to evaluate the hormone concentration detected with the help of the surface acoustic wave (SAW) technique, we modeledtwo circuits as potential processing steps prior to signal recording.
Proof of Concept
To achieve our goal, it is important to ensure that the individual elements of our project are functional. We designed, constructed and tested the printed circuit board (PCB) for the application in our product. Click hereto see the achievements of our project.
Getting insight into the field of synthetic biology is a lot easier for people who are already interested in this matter. Reaching young kids is especially challenging. Therefore, we created an interactive audiobookfor kids and adults.
Excellence in Another Area
Our project is a contraceptive method based on tracking the natural hormone cycle. However, this has led to the problem that not only women have to be addressed, but also every person who has a hormone pattern based on estradiol, progesterone and luteinizing hormone (LH). We would like to set up guidelines for the future iGEM generations and contribute to the promotion of the gender idea worldwide. Read more on our Inclusion page!
We Applied For The Following Spezial Prizes
Understanding what synthetic biology is and how synthetic biology can contribute to making our everyday-life better is a difficult task. Especially for people who are not in contact with this field of research, or who are very young, or even afraid of synthetic biology. Reaching these people is difficult, especially in times of CoVid-19. That is why we created an interactive audiobook, where the listener not only stays passive, but also decides where the three friends Emma, Amira and Simon go through their adventure to work against plastic pollution. By listening to the audiobook and making decisions on the progress of the storyline, the listener approaches the field of synthetic biology on a completely different way. Furthermore, this form of education also includes kids, who learn better when they can actually interact with their teaching program
In our project, we developed a sensitive biosensor based on the surface acoustic wave (SAW) technology, which is used to measure the users hormonal concentration and can be applied as contraception. The hardware set consists of a measuring chip, a measuring device and a user friendly app, enabling an easy depiction of the measured data. For the measurement, the specific binding of the hormones to nanobodies or scFvs, immobilized on the measuring chip surface, is used. The SAW technology facilitates a highly sensitive measurement of the slight mass shift due to the binding of the hormone and thereby enables the determination of the hormone concentration.
Our project is a contraceptive method based on tracking the natural hormone cycle. However, this has led to the challenge that not only women have to be addressed, but also every person who has a hormone pattern based on estradiol, progesterone and luteinizing hormone (LH). Nevertheless, this is a topic that we cannot solve solely with natural science and the awareness of the importance of gener neutral language needs to be raised within the whole iGEM community. Therefore, we analyzed its relevance and its presentation in iGEM and framed a concept for the future iGEM generations. Our guidelines will simplify the linguistic design with regard to gender diversity, including EVERYONE and presenting iGEM as diverse as it is.
In our project we started with an issue several team members faced – insufficient choice of contraception methods-, and our first step was to find out wether this is a problem for the broader public. So, we decided to design a questionnaire. We conducted a survey about common contraception methods and how necessary it would be to look for alternatives. This survey encouraged us in our goal to revolutionize contraception and finally deliver a method that is safe and healthy. Furthermore, results inspired us to change our design andbuild a device perfectly adjusted to the end-users needs.
In our project, we developed a sensitive biosensor based on the surface acoustic wave (SAW) technology, which is used to measure the user’s hormonal concentration and can be applied as contraception. We created a next generation biosensors based on the innovative SAW technology, which enables the highly sensitive detection of mass changes on the surface of a piezoelectrical crystal. The technology requires surface bound binding molecules for the in the sample. In the event of analyte binding, the mass shift influences the wave through the sensing film. The phase shift of the wave is detected by our measuring device. Using standards, the target protein concentration can be determined. This measuring method offers the advantage of high sensitivity of label- free samples and its applicability of a broad range of applications.
Our project is a contraception method based on tracking the natural hormone cycle. This only makes sense when the data is accessible and can be displayed in an easy way. That is why we combined our biosensor device with an app, and enabled synchronization with the device using bluetooth. This way, the measured data can be tracked, saved and easily daily updated on your smartphone. This also offers the advantage of a safe data storage, independent from the measuring device or the internet. The app is written in Python and available for Android and IOS. Beside the tracking of the hormonal concentrations, further information to the project and its measurement are available in the app. Moreover, further hormonal influenced factors like the daily well-being and phase of the menstrual cycle can be tracked and therefore a broader range of information about the influence of the hormonal cycle can be visualized.
The WavySense set for the measurement and tracking of the sex hormone concentrations of luteinizing hormone (LH), progesterone and estrogen in urine, includes three components: the measuring device, several measuring chips, and our app. Tracking the hormonal cycle can be used as non-invasive and at the same time safe contraception method, being an option to established contraception methods targeting 11.7 million possible users solely in Germany. Starting as an iGEM project, our WavySense measuring set has the potential as realizable application in the ‘real world’. Therefore, the prototype has to be completed and comprehensive testing has to be performed. In the end of this process, clinical testing and medical approval are most important, before the market launch in cooperation with medical experts, the German ministry of health and widely know official information platforms. We are aware of the long journey from an iGEM project to an approved and distributed product, but it is not impossible.