Synthetic signaling networks for therapeutic applications

Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2012 Oct;23(5):773-9. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2012.01.001. Epub 2012 Jan 28.


Synthetic signaling networks contain exogenous, modified, or rationally designed components involved in sending, receiving, and processing information from the environment and other cells. Advances in the input, output, and processing elements for such networks hold promise towards developing new therapies and prophylactics for disease. Therapeutic synthetic signaling systems are still in their infancy, but are progressing into mouse models of disease and even into clinical trials. As signaling technology matures, we will see an increase in implanted and ingested cellular therapies capable of autonomously diagnosing and treating disease. These technologies have the potential to reduce some of the burden on both patients and clinicians, contributing to more efficient and eventually personalized medicine.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomimetics / methods*
  • Humans
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Synthetic Biology / methods*
  • Therapeutics / methods*