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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.

Field of science

  • /engineering and technology/electrical engineering, electronic engineering, information engineering/electronic engineering/control engineering
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/synthetic biology
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/cell biology
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/classical mechanics/fluid mechanics/microfluidics

Call for proposal

H2020-FETOPEN-1-2016-2017
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

RIA - Research and Innovation action

Coordinator

FONDAZIONE TELETHON
Address
Via Varese 16/B
00185 Roma
Italy
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 555 875

Participants (7)

THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 398 526,25
Address
Old College, South Bridge
EH8 9YL Edinburgh
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI NAPOLI FEDERICO II
Italy
EU contribution
€ 255 500
Address
Corso Umberto I, 40
80138 Napoli
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERSITE DE PARIS
France
EU contribution
€ 248 900
Address
85 Bd Saint Germain
75006 Paris
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EIDGENOESSISCHE TECHNISCHE HOCHSCHULE ZUERICH
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 400 000
Address
Raemistrasse 101
8092 Zuerich
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
IMPERIAL COLLEGE OF SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY AND MEDICINE
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 568 347,50
Address
South Kensington Campus Exhibition Road
SW7 2AZ London
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
INSTITUT NATIONAL DE RECHERCHE ENINFORMATIQUE ET AUTOMATIQUE
France
EU contribution
€ 250 000
Address
Domaine De Voluceau Rocquencourt
78153 Le Chesnay Cedex
Activity type
Research Organisations
UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 298 196,25
Address
Beacon House Queens Road
BS8 1QU Bristol
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments