Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)




Margaret Saha

Committee Members

Lizabeth Allison

Lisa M. Landino

Beverly Sher


As a unique multidisciplinary approach to the biological world, synthetic biology necessitates the work of a ‘designer’ to utilize existing paradigms of biology and engineer systems that successfully execute the desired biological and chemical functions. For these efforts, prokaryotic cells have long provided the necessary cellular machinery and biochemical substrates for the expression of synthetic products. This dependence on the genetic and chemical background of the prokaryotic host cell has been implicated to affect the cells’ viability and, conversely, the performance of the genetic circuit. The highly dynamic and complex environment of the cell poses a challenge for elucidating in real-time the type and breadth of unintended interactions which may occur in the engineered cell, namely orthogonality. In this thesis work, I present a systematic overview of how synthetic biologists have been addressing this challenge of measuring circuit-host orthogonality and delineate the implementation and testing of one of those methods for creating biosensors that incorporate endogenous Escherichia coli (E. coli) promoters to assess orthogonality. At large, this thesis work will highlight the importance of orthogonality as an irreplaceable benchmarking attribute of synthetic systems for engineering prokaryotic host cells in a context-aware manner.

Available for download on Thursday, May 08, 2025

On-Campus Access Only