Design, optimization and control
in systems and synthetic biology

Paris, June 11-12, 2012

Diego di Bernardo (Tigem, Italy)

Abstract & video

Modelling and control of gene networks: from yeast to mammals

In yeast, we describe the development and application of a method to control at will the dynamic behavior of a gene network in a growing population cells. We designed and implemented an integrated platform based on a microfluidic device, a time-lapse microscopy apparatus, and a set of actuated syringes, all controlled by a computer. We tested the platform to force yeast cells to express a desired time-varying amount of a reporter gene, part of a complex gene network, over thousands of minutes, by automatically switching the type of sugar administered to the cells, its concentration and its duration. In mammalian cells, we used a modified microfludics platform to characterise the dynamical properties and robustness to noise of a circuit we synthetically engineered in mammalian cells. The circuit mimics a common motif found in transcriptional regulation, consisting of a transcription factor regulating its own transcription (Positive Feedback Loop) as well as, transcription of a microRNA against itself (Negative Feedback Loop).

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Diego di Bernardo