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Multicellular feedback control of a genetic toggle-switch in microbial consortia

Fiore, Davide; Salzano, Davide; Cristòbal-Cóppulo, Enric; Olm, Josep M.; di Bernardo, Mario


We describe a multicellular approach to control a target cell population endowed with a bistable toggle-switch. The idea is to engineer a synthetic microbial consortium consisting of three different cell populations. In such a consortium, two populations, the Togglers, responding to some reference input, can induce the switch of a bistable memory mechanism in a third population, the Targets, so as to activate or deactivate some additional functionalities in the cells. Communication among the three populations is established by orthogonal quorum sensing molecules that are used to close a feedback control loop across the populations. The control design is validated via in-silico experiments in BSim, a realistic agent-based simulator of bacterial populations.

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