Dr Matt Hutchings (RCUK Fellow) Dr Matt Hutchings (RCUK Fellow)

We have developed a novel bacterial cell surface display system using research funding from the BBSRC and proof of concept funding from the University of East Anglia. We are currently engineering bacterial strains for use in nano- and biotechnology applications, and exploring commercialisation opportunities using BBSRC Pathfinder Funding. Potential applications include: the construction of biosensors and biocatalysts for use in: bioethanol production; bioremediation of persistent organic pollutants in the soil (in collaboration with Dr Brian Reid (ENV); vaccines and therapeutic proteins for biomedicine; and industrial scale enzyme production for detergents and cleaning products

Image shows a bacterium engineered to export the enzyme agarase (left) next to wild-type (right). This enzyme breaks down agar into oligosaccharides and the enzyme activity can be detected using an iodine-based reagent called lugol which results in the orange zone of clearing around the bacterial colony on the left.