Cell communication systems that form building blocks for biological computation devices have significant potential. They might be able within the human body to detect and respond to changes in the state of health and help to combat disease at an early stage or serve as sensors for detection of pollutants coupled to the ability to degrade dangerous substances. CELLCOMPUT aims at providing proof of principle that complex devices consisting of two, three or more programmed cells can be designed and constructed and at generating building blocks for such devices. The project will design in silico cells that have the ability to communicate in predictable manner to form communication systems. The required cells will be constructed making use of re-engineered yeast signalling pathways – the pheromone response and osmosensing HOG pathway – for which certain synthetic biology building blocks have already been prepared. Re-engineering of the pathways will make use of systems biology approaches established in ongoing projects. The systems will be constructed in yeast cells, improved in recursive manner integrating simulation of computational models and experimentation and their function will be demonstrated. In addition, the project will deliver approaches for systems reprogramming using highly specific mutations or chemical inhibitors. CELLCOMPUT aims at taking part in the development of synthetic biology in Europe through its research and training activities as well as its dissemination programme.
Coordinator: Göteborg University (Sweden)