Supplementary Information from Preservation of protein expression systems at elevated temperatures for portable therapeutic production

Many biotechnology capabilities are limited by stringent storage needs of reagents, largely prohibiting use outside of specialized laboratories. Focusing on a large class of protein-based biotechnology applications, we address this issue by developing a method for preserving cell-free protein expression systems for months above room temperature. Our approach realizes unprecedented long-term stability at elevated temperatures by leveraging the sugar alcohol trehalose, a simple, low-cost, open-air drying step, and strategic separation of reaction components during drying. The resulting preservation capacity enables efficient production of a wide range of on-demand proteins under adverse conditions, for instance during emergency outbreaks or in remote locations. To demonstrate application potential, we use cell-free reagents subjected to months of exposure at 37°C and atmospheric conditions to produce sufficient concentrations of a pyocin protein to kill Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a troublesome pathogen for traumatic and burn wound injuries. Our work makes possible new biotechnology applications that demand ruggedness and scalability.