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Synthetic Biology

Synthetic biology is a rapidly expanding field at the interface of the engineering and biological sciences which aims to apply rational design principles in biological contexts. Synthetic biological systems can be designed to tackle real-world problems ranging from environmental cleanup to chemical synthesis, and from medical sensing to decision making and computation. Architectures similar to those traditionally used in control engineering have been found to govern a range of regulatory processes in natural systems. In our group we develop synthetic control systems that can be employed to make engineered biological systems more robust.

Current Projects

- Development of synthetic negative feedback circuits that employ sRNA.

- Attenuation of cross-talk in two-component signalling systems.

- Integrase/Excisionase based feedback controllers.

- Development of continuous-culture experimental automation/control devices.

Relevant Papers

- H. Steel, A. Sootla, B. Smart, N. Delalez, and A. Papachristodoulou, Improving Orthogonality in Two-Component Biological Signalling Systems using Feedback Control, IEEE Control Systems Letters, 2018

- A. Nyström, A. Papachristodoulou, and A. Angel, A Dynamic Model of Resource Allocation in Response to the Presence of a Synthetic Construct, ACS Synthetic Biology 7, 2018

- H. Steel and A. Papachristodoulou, Probing Inter-Cell Variability using Bulk Measurements, ACS Synthetic Biology 7, 2018

- C. Kelly, A. Harris, H. Steel, E. Hancock, J. Heap, and A. Papachristodoulou, Synthetic negative feedback circuits using engineered small RNAs, Nucleic Acids Research, 46(18), 2018

- H. Steel, A. Harris, E. Hancock, C. Kelly, and A. Papachristodoulou, Frequency domain analysis of small non-coding RNAs shows summing junction-like behaviour, IEEE 56th Annual Conference on Decision and Control, 2017

- A. Harris, CL Kelly, H Steel, and A Papachristodoulou, The autorepressor: A case study of the importance of model selection, IEEE 56th Annual Conference on Decision and Control, 2017

- J. Scott-Brown, and A. Papachristodoulou, sbml-diff: A Tool for Visually Comparing SBML Models in Synthetic Biology, ACS Synthetic Biology 6(7) 2017

- T. Folliard, B. Mertins, H. Steel, T.P. Prescott, T. Newport, C.W. Jones, G. Wadhams, T. Bayer, J.P. Armitage, A. Papachristodoulou, and L.J. Rothschild, Ribo-attenuators: novel elements for reliable and modular riboswitch engineering, Scientific Reports,7(1) 2017

- T. Folliard, H. Steel, T.P. Prescott, G. Wadhams, L.J. Rothschild, and A. Papachristodoulou, A synthetic recombinase-based feedback loop results in robust expression, ACS Synthetic Biology, 6(9) 2017

- H. Steel and A. Papachristodoulou, Design constraints for biological systems that achieve adaptation and disturbance rejection, IEEE Transactions on Control of Network Systems, 5(2) 2018

- H. Steel, G. Lillacci, M. Khammash, and A. Papachristodoulou, Challenges at the interface of control engineering and synthetic biology, IEEE 56th Annual Conference on Decision and Control, 2017

- A. Harris, J. Dolan, C. Kelly, J. Anderson, and A. Papachristodoulou, Designing Genetic Feedback Controllers, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems, 2015

- T. P. Prescott and A. Papachristodoulou, Synthetic biology: A control engineering perspective, IEEE European Control Conference, 2014

- J. Arpino, E. Hancock, J. Anderson, M. Barahona, GB. Stan, A. Papachristodoulou, and K. Polizzi, Tuning the dials of synthetic biology Microbiology, 159(7), 2013

- YC. Chang, JP. Armitage, A. Papachristodoulou, and GH. Wadhams, A single phosphatase can convert a robust step response into a graded, tunable or adaptive response, Microbiology, 159(7), 2013

- J. Anderson, N. Strelkowa, GB. Stan, T. Douglas, J. Savulescu, M. Barahona, and A. Papachristodoulou, Engineering and ethical perspectives in synthetic biology, EMBO reports, 13(7), 2012

- J. Dolan, J. Anderson, and A. Papachristodoulou, A loop shaping approach for designing biological circuits, IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, 2012