Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J R Soc Interface. 2014 Jul 6;11(96). pii: 20140065. doi: 10.1098/rsif.2014.0065.

Co-culture systems and technologies: taking synthetic biology to the next level.

Author information

1
Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, UK Centre for Synthetic Biology and Innovation, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, UK.
2
Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, UK Centre for Synthetic Biology and Innovation, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, UK p.freemont@imperial.ac.uk.
3
Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, UK Centre for Synthetic Biology and Innovation, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, UK k.polizzi@imperial.ac.uk.

Abstract

Co-culture techniques find myriad applications in biology for studying natural or synthetic interactions between cell populations. Such techniques are of great importance in synthetic biology, as multi-species cell consortia and other natural or synthetic ecology systems are widely seen to hold enormous potential for foundational research as well as novel industrial, medical and environmental applications with many proof-of-principle studies in recent years. What is needed for co-cultures to fulfil their potential? Cell-cell interactions in co-cultures are strongly influenced by the extracellular environment, which is determined by the experimental set-up, which therefore needs to be given careful consideration. An overview of existing experimental and theoretical co-culture set-ups in synthetic biology and adjacent fields is given here, and challenges and opportunities involved in such experiments are discussed. Greater focus on foundational technology developments for co-cultures is needed for many synthetic biology systems to realize their potential in both applications and answering biological questions.

KEYWORDS:

cell–cell interaction; co-culture; intercellular communication; microbial consortia; mixed cultures; synthetic biology

PMID:
24829281
PMCID:
PMC4032528
DOI:
10.1098/rsif.2014.0065
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center