Case study

How Imperial College Lab Advances Metabolic Engineering Research with Reshape

How Rodrigo's team at Imperial College uses the Reshape Microbiology platform to screen for complex metabolite interactions with fluorescence biosensors

20x microbial clones screened

Rapid data generation

Seamless data sharing using digital platform

Easy collaboration between lab members

Quantitative results

from complex plate-based assays for better modelling

“With the Reshape Imaging System, we've been able to scale up our screenings and quantitatively benchmark complex metabolite interactions of a variety of microbial clones. The system has significantly enhanced our understanding of metabolite production, release, and diffusion in yeast - a critical area in our pursuit of advanced bioproduction strategies.”

- Dr. Rodrigo Ledesma Amaro
Group leader and lecturer Department of Bioengineering, Imperial College London

Challenge: High-throughput screening and analysis of metabolite production

Imperial College lab is a driving force in developing advanced synthetic biology tools and manipulating microbial metabolic pathways. They work with a wealth of complex organisms and interactions, providing deep insights into some of the most challenging aspects of industrial utilization of microorganisms. Important solutions are expected to come from this research: one example could be an alternative to palm oil, which is currently one of the primary causes of deforestation and pollution in the world.

However, the lab faced challenges when it came to high-throughput screening of microbial clones and detailed studies of metabolite production. The mechanisms of action are very complex, and mapping out interactions in particular requires a large number of datapoints.

“Conventional methods for screening microbial clones are labor-intensive, subjective and and limited in throughput. This makes it very difficult to obtain large enough datasets to start mapping out the complex behaviours arising from metabolite interactions. With Reshape, we've been able to scale up our screenings, providing a wealth of quantitative data that is crucial for our study of bioproduction strategies and endeavors in industrial biotechnology.”

The solution: Time-lapse fluorescent imaging and analysis

The Reshape platform was integrated into their workflow, capable of tracking a large number of experiments in parallel. Coupled with the ability of the system to create timelapse videos in multiple fluorescent spectra at the same time, this allowed for precise tracking and analysis of microbial growth and metabolite production.

The advantages of the Reshape platform quickly became apparent:

“The Reshape system has revolutionized how we screen and study microbial clones. We can now track metabolite production, release, and diffusion at an unprecedented scale. Furthermore, the digitalization provided by the system has facilitated seamless collaboration and data sharing among our team members.”

The Results: Accelerated Research and Enhanced Collaboration

“The Reshape Imaging System has been transformative for our research. The platform has significantly accelerated our screenings and enhanced our insights into metabolite production. I highly recommend it for any lab involved in synthetic biology and metabolic engineering. We are very happy with the equipment and especially with the amazing support provided.”

The Imperial College lab saw remarkable improvements:

  • 20x more microbial clones screened for faster mapping of metabolite interactions
  • Share-able microbiology data that can be used directly in publications
  • Quantitative data from complex assays for more accurate modelling
  • Novel assay development capabilities thanks to multi-spectra fluorescent timelapse imaging

With the Reshape platform, they not only increased efficiency but also gained insights into metabolite production at an unprecedented scale, pushing the boundaries of synthetic biology and metabolic engineering.

Find out more about Rodrigo Ledesma-Amaro and synthetic biology at Imperial College:

www.rlalab.org

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