DOI: 10.1101/511725Jan 4, 2019Paper

Distributed DNA-based Communication in Populations of Synthetic Protocells

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Alex JoesaarTom F A de Greef


Developing distributed communication platforms based on orthogonal molecular communication channels is a crucial step towards engineering artificial multicellular systems. Here, we present a general and scalable platform entitled 'Biomolecular Implementation of Protocellular Communication' (BIO-PC) to engineer distributed multichannel molecular communication between populations of non-lipid semipermeable microcapsules. Our method leverages the modularity and scalability of enzyme-free DNA strand-displacement circuits to develop protocellular consortia that can sense, process and respond to DNA-based messages. We engineer a rich variety of biochemical communication devices capable of cascaded amplification, bidirectional communication and distributed computational operations. Encapsulating DNA strand-displacement circuits further allows their use in concentrated serum where non-compartmentalized DNA circuits cannot operate. BIO-PC enables reliable execution of distributed DNA-based molecular programs in biologically relevant environments and opens new directions in DNA computing and minimal cell technology.

Related Concepts

Community-Based Distribution
DNA Restriction Enzymes
Synthetic Genes
Ion Channel
DNA, Double-Stranded
DNA Amplification

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