Synthetic biology centers on the design and modular assembly of biological parts so as to construct artificial biological systems. Over the past decade, synthetic biology has blossomed into a highly productive field, yielding advances in diverse areas such as neuroscience, cell-based therapies, and chemical manufacturing. Similarly, the field of gene therapy has made enormous strides both in proof-of-concept studies and in the clinical setting. One viral vector of increasing interest for gene therapy is the adenovirus (Ad). A major part of the Ad's increasing momentum comes from synthetic biology approaches to Ad engineering. Convergence of gene therapy and synthetic biology has enhanced Ad vectors by mitigating Ad toxicity in vivo, providing precise Ad tropisms, and incorporating genetic circuits to make smart therapies which adapt to environmental stimuli. Synthetic biology engineering of Ad vectors may lead to superior gene delivery and editing platforms which could find applications in a wide range of therapeutic contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13970-13979
Number of pages10
JournalACS nano
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 28 2021


  • adenovirus
  • gene therapy
  • genetic circuits
  • protein engineering
  • synthetic biology
  • viral capsids
  • viral tropisms


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