Environmental Contaminants such as PFAS and plastic resist natural degradation and have devastating effects on health and the environment.
Our work is aimed at improving our ability to recycle plastic and degrade forever chemicals by creating new organisms and enzymes that break down these pollutants.
There are numerous bacteria with diverse metabolisms, some of which have a minor ability to eat plastic, PFAS, and other contaminants.
Plastics and PFAS are new man-made materials. There hasn't been enough time for such organisms to evolve naturally.
Our approach utilizes automation, image-processing & computer vision, and analytical chemistry to select for organisms with the ability to grow on PFAS and other difficult to break down chemicals as a sole carbon source. Using directed evolution techniques we optimize these organisms and improve their performance.