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Cell-Free Metabolic Engineering

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CD Biosynsis provides professional services for cell-free metabolic engineering to facilitate the cutting-edge research of synthetic biology researchers around the world.

Introduction to Cell-Free Metabolic Engineering

Microbial processes allow for the cleaner and more efficient production of diverse chemicals and natural products to meet the growing demand for sustainability. However, problems including inefficient feedstock conversion, low volumetric yields, accumulation of toxic intermediates, unintentional release of genetically modified microorganisms into the environment, and loss of byproducts through competitive pathways limit the use of bioprocesses that rely on recombinant microorganisms. To overcome these limitations, cell-free metabolic engineering (CFME), a new approach that does not rely on living cells, was developed.

Recently, the freedom relative to in vivo systems has stimulated the development of the engineering fundamentals for cell-free systems. Cell-free synthetic biology enables the engineering of biological components and systems for life science applications without using living cells. It overcomes the inherent limitations of living cells, while also providing simpler and faster engineering solutions with unprecedented freedom in an open environment than a cell system. Cell-free metabolic engineering combined with synthetic biology offers the ability to design metabolic pathways towards the production of desired products.

Figure 1. Paradigms for metabolic engineering. (Dudley Q M, et al., 2015)Figure 1. Paradigms for metabolic engineering. (Dudley Q M, et al., 2015)

Key Applications

  • Chemical Industry
  • Therapeutics and Vaccines
  • High-value biopharmaceuticals
  • Biological materials

Advantages of CFME

  • Operational simplicity and increased flexibility.
  • Higher conversion efficiency and productivity.
  • Direct substrate addition and product removal
  • No viability constraints.
  • Biosynthetic pathways can be debugged and optimized.
  • Design-build-test iterations can be carried out without reengineering the organisms.
  • Prevention of environmental release of microorganisms.
  • Reaction conditions can be controlled by engineers.

Service Offering

CD Biosynsis provides a portfolio of synthetic biology tools for cell-free metabolic engineering. Our services include but not limited to the following:

Purified Proteins-Based Cell-Free Metabolic Engineering

The physiological constraints required to sustain a living system can limit the conditions for bioconversion using living cells. The use of purified enzymes to build cell-free metabolic pathways is the most straightforward solution to address these limitations. CD Biosynsis offers specialized cell-free metabolic engineering services based on purified enzymes to enable optimization of the participating enzymes.

Cell Extract-Based Cell-Free Metabolic Engineering

The requirement for laborious purification of enzymes limits the use of enzyme-based cell-free metabolic engineering. Cell extract-based approaches might be more realistic in cases where the intermediates of the final products can be generated via cellular metabolism. CD Biosynsis provides high-quality cell extract-based cell-free metabolic engineering services to minimize the genetic modification of host cells and the loss of intermediates

CD Biosynsis is fully committed to providing our customers with advanced techniques and tailored one-stop solutions to help them overcome the challenges in synthetic biology. Our scientists have the ability to bring diverse creative ideas to fruition. If you are interested in our services, please feel free to contact us for more details.


  1. Dudley Q M, et al. Cell‐free metabolic engineering: biomanufacturing beyond the cell. Biotechnology journal, 2015, 10(1): 69-82.
  2. Lim H J & Kim D M. Cell-free metabolic engineering: Recent developments and future prospects. Methods and protocols, 2019, 2(2): 33.

Please note that all services are for research use only. Not intended for any clinical use.

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