Team:ETH Zurich/project/overview/applications


Future development of synthetic biological systems will require the implementation of reliable synthetic circuits. These gene circuits will be designed to program new biological behaviour, dynamics, and logic control[1]. A crucial part to coordinate and control the biological computation needed to perform their tasks can be seen in multichannel orthogonal communication. In order to achieve the goals of our project we need to thoroughly characterize available components, improve their performance, and develop novel constructs that get closer to actual multichannel orthogonal communication and subsequent logic processing. With our findings we will try to make a contribution to the field of biological computation by enabling further development of complex systems that rely on the interaction between its subparts.

These biological computers in turn also need to find a way to be implemented in patients, if they are developed to perform therapeutic tasks. A promising application of such synthetic biological systems is cell based therapy by alginate-microencapsulated implants[2][3]. We will try to achieve communication and input integration in a grid of alginate beads and thus producing a more complex behavior than a single bead could show. This can be seen as a step towards the development of artificial organs composed of multiple alginate-microencapsulated implants, that work together to tackle tasks a single implant, which is not communicating with its neighbors, could not solve.