Bentley Hosts Webinar on Quorum SensingFischell Department of Bioengineering professor and chair William Bentley was the host of a recent webinar presented by the Society of Biological Engineering (SBE), a technical community of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) that promotes the integration of biology with engineering in a variety of applications.
The online session, titled "A Bottom Up Approach to Systems Biotechnology—Lessons Learned from Bacterial Signal Transduction," discussed how quorum sensing, an exchange of signaling molecules used by bacteria to communicate with one another and act as a pathogenic group, provides a means of studying and controlling cell phenotypes. Bentley also described the biodevices he and his collaborators have developed and used to monitor and report on this form of cell-to-cell communication.
Bentley described his team's efforts to study and explain how quorum sensing can be monitored and manipulated to achieve a beneficial result. For example, a disruption in intercellular communication could prevent bacteria from reaching the level of coordinated activity required to trigger an infection. Our ability to control quorum sensing could become very important to human healthcare in the prevention of diseases that have become resistant to traditional antibiotics.
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Published December 8, 2009