Plastic Picker – bio-tagging individual plastic types to simplify and improve sorting

Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Academy (Canmore)

Plastic Picker – our project uses synthetic biology to create a novel fusion protein that can specifically bio-tag polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic

Team Grade Level: High School
STEM Focus:  Synthetic Biology

Our project involves two proteins; PET hydrolase (PET-ase) and a hydrophobin called BsIA, that are produced via a bacterial chassis called Bacillus subtilis. The PET-ase enzyme binds to PET and is fused to a red fluorescent protein called mCherry, visually indicating when the adhesion occurs. The hydrophobin is designed to be used in conjunction with the PET-ase mCherry fusion protein, as it is “water-fearing” and will help to bind the PET-ase to PET plastic. Overall, the solution will create an efficient, cost-effective, and specific marker to tackle the global crisis of plastic pollution by color bio-tagging plastic for sorting.


Posted on

December 22, 2022

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