Engineered cell-cell communication and its applications.
Over the past several decades, biologists have become more appreciative of the fundamental role of intercellular communication in natural systems spanning prokaryotic biofilms to eukaryotic developmental systems and neurological networks. From an engineering perspective, the use of cell-cell communication provides an opportunity to engineer more complex and robust functions using cellular components. Indeed, this strategy has been adopted in synthetic biology in the creation of diverse gene circuits that program spatiotemporal dynamics in one or multiple populations. Gene circuits such as these may offer insights regarding basic biological questions and motifs or serve as a basis for novel applications.
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