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PLoS Comput Biol. 2016 Feb 1;12(2):e1004685. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004685. eCollection 2016 Feb.

Implementation of Complex Biological Logic Circuits Using Spatially Distributed Multicellular Consortia.

Author information

1
ICREA-Complex Systems Laboratory, Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Barcelona, Spain.
2
Cell Signaling Research Group, Departament de Ciències Experimentals i de la Salut, Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Barcelona, Spain.
3
Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States of America.

Abstract

Engineered synthetic biological devices have been designed to perform a variety of functions from sensing molecules and bioremediation to energy production and biomedicine. Notwithstanding, a major limitation of in vivo circuit implementation is the constraint associated to the use of standard methodologies for circuit design. Thus, future success of these devices depends on obtaining circuits with scalable complexity and reusable parts. Here we show how to build complex computational devices using multicellular consortia and space as key computational elements. This spatial modular design grants scalability since its general architecture is independent of the circuit's complexity, minimizes wiring requirements and allows component reusability with minimal genetic engineering. The potential use of this approach is demonstrated by implementation of complex logical functions with up to six inputs, thus demonstrating the scalability and flexibility of this method. The potential implications of our results are outlined.

PMID:
26829588
PMCID:
PMC4734778
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004685
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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