12. MULTISCALE PLATFORM FOR COORDINATING CELLULAR ACTIVITY USING SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY

Department: Bioengineering
Faculty Advisor(s): Jeff Hasty

Primary Student
Name: Arthur Benjamin Prindle
Email: abprindl@ucsd.edu
Phone: 650-796-1998
Grad Year: 2013

Student Collaborators
Phillip Samayoa, psamayoa@gmail.com

Abstract
Although there has been considerable progress in the development of engineering principles for biology, a substantial challenge is the programming of robust genetic behavior in a noisy cellular environment. Such an environment leads to considerable variability in cellular behavior, which can hinder functionality at the macroscopic level. Here, we overcome this limitation by synchronizing the behavior of bacterial populations as large as 60 million. Our platform consists of thousands of oscillating bacterial "biopixels" in an LCD-like macroscopic clock. As one example application, this clock is used to detect trace levels of arsenic by modulating the oscillatory period. This communication platform has attractive applications in biology-based sensing, signaling, and manufacturing.

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