2022: CellulALT

We use synthetic biology to produce a modified bacterial cellolose  that can be a starting point for the sustainable production of medical equipment and a supplement in nutrition in extreme situations such as prolonged drought, war or space exploration.



Deep space exploration is challenging. Resources that we take for granted on Earth, are rare and valuable in space. Light and soil availability limit the ability to grow plants and algae, and astronauts must always have all available materials to treat care for cases of sickness and injury. Our project is based on bacterial cellulose (BC). Komagataeibacter xylinus is a gram-negative bacterium that can synthesize it. Our goal is to genetically engineer K.xylinus by introducing genes from Saccharomyces cerevisiae that allow for synthesis of chitin-functionalised BC.

We propose to use components from degraded organic waste so bacteria can use it to synthesize this co-polymer. The process is light independent, and its BC could have a wide range of novel applications in space. For example, it could be used as an additional source of food as BC can be a form of dietary fiber. Additionally, it could be used as a polymer with varying biodegradability with pharmaceutical and biotechnological applications.

Space Exploration offers unique research opportunities and has inspired scientists to develop some of the technologies we use every day on Earth (e.g. solar cells, LEDs, fire detection, memory foams, etc.). Our aim is to create more trust in GMO products, and we also believe our modified BC can be a source of medical raw materials and a complement in nutrition for countries with scarce arable land or even in emergency situations like war or drought.




  • iGEM Jamboree takes place 26.-28. October 2022


The teams Wiki page at igem.org

The students in the team


Portrait of Andreas Solberg Sagen.

Andreas Solberg Sagen

Portrait of Frida Maria Engby Westby.

Frida Maria Engby Westby

Portrait of Gabriel Alonso Sanchez Maltese.

Gabriel Alonso Sanchez Maltese

Portrait of Liza Clementina Alcantar Martin del Campo.

Liza Clementina Alcantar Martin del Campo

Portrait of Manuel Serna Vila.

Manuel Serna Vila

Portrait of Sarah Alsaedi.

Sarah Alsaedi

Portrait of Solomon Rorellien.

Solomon Rorellien


Published Feb. 15, 2022 11:33 AM - Last modified Sep. 28, 2022 12:00 PM