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Self-organization of synthetic biochemical networks within microfluidic devices
By André Estévez-Torres et Jean-Christophe Galas
April 15, 2014 at 02:00PM - Salle de réunion du LJP (5.31)


The generation of macroscopic spatiotemporal order in a system of microscopic objects is a fundamental question with important implications in biological morphogenesis. How do nanometer-sized molecules, such as proteins, with characteristic timescales of microseconds, give rise to spatiotemporal structures, such such as complex morphogen gradients in a developing embryo, with typical scales of millimeters and minutes? In an attempt to answer this question we will describe an approach that could be called "synthetic biology outside of cells". On the one side we will introduce a set of highly reconfigurable synthetic chemical reaction networks based on DNA. It is possible to design a priori their topology, the rates of the individual reactions and the diffusion coefficients of the reagents. On the other side we will describe different microfluidic reactors that allow a precise control of the initial and boundary conditions of these networks. In particular, we will show the first realization of reaction-diffusion waves in a chemical system engineered from the bottom up as well as the influence of geometrical constraints in the propagation of such waves.