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Control Engineering of Biological Systems for Reliable Synthetic Biology Applications

Control Engineering of Biological Systems for Reliable Synthetic Biology Applications

Objective

Synthetic Biology aims at rational engineering of living organisms to improve human well-being and environmental sustainability, thus promising a paradigm shift in human technology. Its full potential has not been achieved yet because of the complexity of engineering biological systems where basic biological parts are intrinsically noisy and not modular. The overarching goal of COSY-BIO is to develop a theoretical framework and innovative technological tools to engineer reliable biological systems that are robust despite their individual components being not by translating principles of control engineering to molecular and cell biology. Automatic control is a well-established engineering discipline to build “controllers” to steer the dynamic behaviour of a physical system in a desired fashion. By building upon control engineering for physical systems and by exploiting the unique features of living organisms, this project will identify generally applicable approaches to design closed-loop feedback controllers for biological systems. To handle biological complexity, the project will explore three strategies of increasing difficulty “external” controllers, “embedded” controllers and “multi-cellular” controllers. External controllers will be implemented in a computer acting on cells using small molecules via microfluidics devices. Embedded controllers will be made from biological parts and integrated within individual cells to steer their behaviour. Multicellular controllers envisage two cell populations, one made up of cells with embedded controllers (controller cells) and the other will be the controlled population (target cells). In addition, a rapid prototyping platform will enable to speed up the design-build-test cycles by means of optimal experimental design, microfluidics and cell-free systems. Proof-of-principles demonstrations in bacteria and yeast with relevance to biotechnology will be tackled to prove the usefulness of this revolutionary technology.
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Coordinator

FONDAZIONE TELETHON

Address

Via Varese 16/B
00185 Roma

Italy

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 555 875

Participants (7)

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THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 398 526,25

UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI NAPOLI FEDERICO II

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 255 500

UNIVERSITE PARIS DIDEROT - PARIS 7

France

EU Contribution

€ 248 900

EIDGENOESSISCHE TECHNISCHE HOCHSCHULE ZUERICH

Switzerland

EU Contribution

€ 400 000

IMPERIAL COLLEGE OF SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY AND MEDICINE

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 568 347,50

INSTITUT NATIONAL DE RECHERCHE ENINFORMATIQUE ET AUTOMATIQUE

France

EU Contribution

€ 250 000

UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 298 196,25

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 766840

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 October 2017

  • End date

    30 September 2020

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.2.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 2 996 856,25

  • EU contribution

    € 2 975 345

Coordinated by:

FONDAZIONE TELETHON

Italy