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Engineering Biology

New Content ItemGuest Editors: James Collins, Sophien Kamoun, Nicola Patron, Pamela Silver, James Wells

The application of engineering principles to biological processes has enabled the construction of new, rationally designed, biological components and systems, as well as the adaptation of natural ones for diverse purposes. For this series, BMC Biology have invited Reviews, Opinions and Q&As from leaders in the fields, covering the recent advances in the design and manipulation of biological systems, as well as new tools and technologies inspired by biology.

We are inviting the submission of Research, Methodology, and Registered Report manuscripts providing outstanding contributions on this topic, and including, but not limited to, the following fields:

  • Protein Design 
  • Synthetic Biology 
  • Metabolic Engineering 
  • Tissue Engineering 
  • Biosynthesis 
  • Gene Therapy 
  • Genome Editing
  • Biomaterials
  • Drug Development
  • Organoids

To submit research and methodology articles for the series please upload your manuscript via our webpage, and indicate in your covering letter that you would like the manuscript to be considered for the ‘Engineering Biology’ series. We also welcome presubmission inquiries; please email us at if you wish to inquire whether your manuscript may be appropriate for the series.

We are flexible with regard to the format and style of initial submissions, and journal-specific formatting is required only once manuscripts reach the later stages of the publication process. Moreover, we accept direct transfers from the bioRxiv preprint server. Here are other ways in which we serve our authors, including scoop protection, co-submissions and more.

  1. Infections with influenza A virus (IAV) cause high morbidity and mortality in humans. Additional to vaccination, antiviral drugs are a treatment option. Besides FDA-approved drugs such as oseltamivir or zanami...

    Authors: Marc D. Hein, Prerna Arora, Pavel Marichal-Gallardo, Michael Winkler, Yvonne Genzel, Stefan Pöhlmann, Klaus Schughart, Sascha Y. Kupke and Udo Reichl
    Citation: BMC Biology 2021 19:91
  2. Membrane protrusions that occur on the dorsal surface of a cell are an excellent experimental system to study actin machinery at work in a living cell. Small GTPase Rac1 controls the membrane protrusions that ...

    Authors: F. Leyden, S. Uthishtran, U. K. Moorthi, H. M. York, A. Patil, H. Gandhi, E. P. Petrov, T. Bornschlögl and S. Arumugam
    Citation: BMC Biology 2021 19:72
  3. In recent years, large-scale genetic screens using the CRISPR/Cas9 system have emerged as scalable approaches able to interrogate gene function with unprecedented efficiency and specificity in various biologic...

    Authors: Luisa Henkel, Benedikt Rauscher, Barbara Schmitt, Jan Winter and Michael Boutros
    Citation: BMC Biology 2020 18:174
  4. The global spread of SARS-CoV-2 has shaken our health care and economic systems, prompting re-evaluation of long-held views on how best to deliver care. This is especially the case for our global diagnostic st...

    Authors: Quinn Matthews, Severino Jefferson Ribeiro da Silva, Masoud Norouzi, Lindomar José Pena and Keith Pardee
    Citation: BMC Biology 2020 18:153
  5. Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) substantially contributes to the burden of diarrheal illnesses in developing countries. With the use of complementary in vitro models of the human digestive environment, TN...

    Authors: Charlène Roussel, Kim De Paepe, Wessam Galia, Jana De Bodt, Sandrine Chalancon, Françoise Leriche, Nathalie Ballet, Sylvain Denis, Monique Alric, Tom Van de Wiele and Stéphanie Blanquet-Diot
    Citation: BMC Biology 2020 18:141
  6. Access to quantitative information is crucial to obtain a deeper understanding of biological systems. In addition to being low-throughput, traditional image-based analysis is mostly limited to error-prone qual...

    Authors: Sahand Saberi-Bosari, Kevin B. Flores and Adriana San-Miguel
    Citation: BMC Biology 2020 18:130
  7. The traditional view of protein aggregation as being strictly disease-related has been challenged by many examples of cellular aggregates that regulate beneficial biological functions. When coupled with the em...

    Authors: Giulio Chiesa, Szilvia Kiriakov and Ahmad S. Khalil
    Citation: BMC Biology 2020 18:35
  8. Nitrogen is an essential element of life, and nitrogen availability often limits crop yields. Since the Green Revolution, massive amounts of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers have been produced from atmospheric n...

    Authors: Vânia C. S. Pankievicz, Thomas B. Irving, Lucas G. S. Maia and Jean-Michel Ané
    Citation: BMC Biology 2019 17:99
  9. Bacterial cells have long been thought to be simple cells with little spatial organization, but recent research has shown that they exhibit a remarkable degree of subcellular differentiation. Indeed, bacteria ...

    Authors: Henning Kirst and Cheryl A. Kerfeld
    Citation: BMC Biology 2019 17:79
  10. Cell-free systems (CFS) have recently evolved into key platforms for synthetic biology applications. Many synthetic biology tools have traditionally relied on cell-based systems, and while their adoption has s...

    Authors: Aidan Tinafar, Katariina Jaenes and Keith Pardee
    Citation: BMC Biology 2019 17:64
  11. Large animal models, such as the dog, are increasingly being used for studying diseases including gastrointestinal (GI) disorders. Dogs share similar environmental, genomic, anatomical, and intestinal physiolo...

    Authors: Lawrance Chandra, Dana C. Borcherding, Dawn Kingsbury, Todd Atherly, Yoko M. Ambrosini, Agnes Bourgois-Mochel, Wang Yuan, Michael Kimber, Yijun Qi, Qun Wang, Michael Wannemuehler, N. Matthew Ellinwood, Elizabeth Snella, Martin Martin, Melissa Skala, David Meyerholz…
    Citation: BMC Biology 2019 17:33
  12. Photosynthesis and nitrogen fixation became evolutionarily immutable as “frozen metabolic accidents” because multiple interactions between the proteins and protein complexes involved led to their co-evolution ...

    Authors: Dario Leister
    Citation: BMC Biology 2019 17:8