While much of synthetic biology relies on top-down engineering of extant living systems, this strategy is constrained by the fundamental drives of biology, such as evolutionary pressures and resource utilization for replication.
By BUILDING synthetic minimal cells bottom-up, we can reconstitute desirable functions of biology (e.g. sense-and-respond) without incurring many of its drawbacks.
Programmable drug delivery.
Detection of low abundance molecular markers and cells.
High-throughput testing of molecular interactions.