Programmable on-chip DNA compartments as 'Artificial cells'
Monday, November 24, 2014 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Joseph Henry Room, Jadwin Hall
Lewis-Sigler Institute

We will discuss the assembly of two-dimensional DNA compartments fabricated in silicon as artificial cells capable of metabolism, programmable protein synthesis, and communication. Metabolism is maintained by continuous diffusion of nutrients and products through a thin capillary, connecting protein synthesis in the DNA compartment with the environment. We programmed protein expression cycles, autoregulated protein levels, and a signaling expression gradient, equivalent to a morphogen, in an array of interconnected compartments at the scale of an embryo. Gene expression in the DNA compartment reveals a rich, dynamic system that is controlled by geometry, offering a means for studying biological networks outside a living cell.