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Research Overview

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We are an interdisciplinary group of engineers interested in the advancement of healthcare treatment technologies using mathematical models to elucidate useful latent trends and/or principles that might underlie relevant biological phenomena. In particular, developing more accurate and efficient modeling frameworks that incorporate computation, dynamical systems, and control theory may become more widespread and impactful in the design of electro-mechanical and/or biological therapeutic machines. The crossover between control theoretic, biological and healthcare viewpoints is the fundamental strength of our projects. 

Computation, modeling and theory drive the experimental projects in our group. For these projects, we apply design methodologies traditionally used for mechanical systems and utilize established techniques borrowed from the field of synthetic biology to develop synthetic genetic circuits in E. coli to make  bacterial "microrobots". 

Design Framework for Mechanical and Biological Systems

The main objective in these experiments is to rewire standard biological parts within the cell to introduce desirable functionalities and verify theorized design principles. 

 Project theories and concepts we are developing include (but are not limited to):

  • Design of synthetic genetic circuit in E. coli that responds to a combination of pathogenic and intentionally administered signals, and secretes pathogen specific factors that inhibit progression of infection. 
  • Creation of system-level multi-scale model for insight into gut associated skin disorders.  The model can also provide a platform for virtual evaluation and optimization of a therapy. 
  • Design of synthetic genetic circuit in E. coli for pattern formation via density dependent control of cell motility in growing bacterial populations.

Ultimately we aim to establish unambiguous links between control/computer engineering, bioengineering, and healthcare methodologies in order to understand predict and control biological systems with respect to healthcare.