Subsequent projects

Prof. Dr. Friedrich Simmel
Technische Universit√§t M√ľnchen
Chair of Physics of Synthetic Biological Systems (E14)

Prof. Elisa Franco
University of California, Riverside
Department of mechanical Engineering

Programming dynamic growth of nucleic acid structures through biochemical signaling: a step toward the design and synthesis of reconfigurable bio-materials

Biological cells can reconfigure their shape and stiffness in response to environmental signals such as nutrients, hormones or pH. Dynamic cytoskeletal scaffolds enable cells to achieve a shape plasticity that is unparalleled in man-made materials. Taking inspiration from nature, our project aims at building artificial multicellular structures in which synthetic scaffold structures are controlled by exogenous or endogenous molecular signals, thereby determining the mechanical properties of the artificial cells. Our artificial cell systems are constituted by cell-sized emulsion droplets containing in vitro gene networks that dynamically direct the assembly of nucleic acid scaffolds that act as artificial cytoskeleton. Artificial cell-cell communication will further be used to determine the macroscopic mechanical properties of a multi-droplet system. On the long run, this could result in synthetic biomaterials with the capacity for development and self-healing.

 

Primary project: Programming dynamic growth of nucleic acid structures through biochemical signaling: a step toward the design and synthesis of reconfigurable bio-materials


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