iGEM 2023: TWB supports Toulouse team

TWB supports the CALIPSO project, driven by a team of students from INSA Toulouse, which will be presented at iGem 2023 – Grand Jamboree: an international contest of synthetic biology, which will take place at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles from November 2 to 5, 2023. The students will present an innovative cancer treatment.

Toulouse team IGEM 2023


Cancer is responsible for one in six deaths, making it the second leading cause of death worldwide. That is the reason why these students wanted to develop an innovative therapeutic strategy based on the use of liposomes*.

The CALIPSO (Cell-targeting Advanced LIPosomes for Selective Oncotherapy) system is based on the use of liposomes to destroy cancer cells in a more specific and targeted way. Its aim is to improve existing treatments by making them less invasive, and to minimize the side effects of chemotherapy. Liposomes are decorated with receptors capable of recognising cancer cells. Upon binding and sensing the environment of cancer cells, a mechanism inside the liposome is triggered, enabling the production and release of an anti-cancer molecule.


Another advantage of this project is that it is modular. By changing the receptors on the liposome and the internal biosensing and production units, this technology could be used for several types of cancer and could even be extended to other diseases involving cell targeting.

*Lipid vesicle containing a fragile active substance to be delivered to target cells.

About iGEM 2023

iGEM is an international synthetic biology competition created by MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in 2004, which became a major event in the biotechnology world. In 2021, the INSA-UPS team from Toulouse won the competition with their project Elixio.

For this 20th edition, which will take place for the 2nd year running at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles after 16 editions in Boston and 2 virtual editions, the competition will welcome nearly 7,000 participants making up 400 student teams will present innovative projects adressing current issues in different fields: food, health, environment, etc…

IGEM Grand Jamboree also features over 150 sessions and workshops with international players in the field of synthetic biology & numerous stands and pavilions for incubators, investors, accelerators, industry players…