In the synthetic biology field, the development of foundational components like genetic clocks and logic gates has enabled the design of circuits with increasing complexity. These circuits have the ability to build autonomous robots, solve math problems, and play interactive games.
This knowledge of bio-circuits is now being used by a team of researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology to lay the groundwork for the future of programmable medicine.
Meanwhile, these programmable drugs appear like any other small container of clear liquid. In terms of function, these drugs would communicate directly with our biological systems, to respond to the information flowing through our bodies. In doing so, the programmable drugs automatically delivers proper doses in a dynamic manner when and where needed. Also, these drugs might even be present in the body throughout our life, detecting cancer and other diseases, fighting inspection, and essentially becoming a biological extension of ourselves.
The breakthrough of programmable drugs may be years away, but the insights gained from the research move us closer with the development of enzyme computers.
“The concept of programmable immunity is the long-term vision, said one of the fellow researchers involved in the study. The research called Protease circuits for processing biological information is published in Nature Communications.
“In fact, the story of beginning of the paper is two years old,” said the lead researcher. Due to the tremendous success of developing enzyme-based diagnostics, the structure of programmable drugs is comparable to computers, leading to the design of simple logic gates, such as OR gates and AND gates, added the researcher. Because the project grew organically, it led to the development of other devices such as analog-digital convertors.