Genetically-encoded Reporter System for Remote Sensing
Cell-based biosensors can detect chemical signals important for environmental applications. Extracting information from deployed biosensors remains a challenge with existing readout technologies including fluorescence. Here, we develop cell-based biosensors that can be read out remotely, at scale, with hyperspectral imaging (HSI). We predicted the absorbance spectra of all metabolic database metabolites using density functional theory and scored their “uniqueness”. We quantified how many enzymes must be engineered into various organisms to produce each of the metabolites. We are engineering bacteria to inducibly produce the most unique metabolites that require fewest enzymes and characterizing detection with HSI.