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Journal of Biological Engineering

, 8:26

First Online: 19 November 2014Received: 20 June 2014Accepted: 02 October 2014


BackgroundIn mammalian development, the formation of most tissues is achieved by a relatively small repertoire of basic morphogenetic events e.g. cell adhesion, locomotion, apoptosis, etc., permutated in various sequences to form different tissues. Together with cell differentiation, these mechanisms allow populations of cells to organize themselves into defined geometries and structures, as simple embryos develop into complex organisms. The control of tissue morphogenesis by populations of engineered cells is a potentially very powerful but neglected aspect of synthetic biology.

ResultsWe have assembled a modular library of synthetic morphogenetic driver genes to control separately mammalian cell adhesion, locomotion, fusion, proliferation and elective cell death. Here we describe this library and demonstrate its use in the T-REx-293 human cell line to induce each of these desired morphological behaviours on command.

ConclusionsBuilding on from the simple test systems described here, we want to extend engineered control of morphogenetic cell behaviour to more complex 3D structures that can inform embryologists and may, in the future, be used in surgery and regenerative medicine, making synthetic morphology a powerful tool for developmental biology and tissue engineering.

KeywordsSynthetic morphology Synthetic biology Morphogenesis Morphogenetic effectors Development Human embryonic kidney cells Abbreviations2DTwo-dimensional


GFPGreen fluorescent protein

HEKHuman embryonic kidney

IRESInternal ribosome entry site

MDCKMadin-Darby canine kidney


Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1754-1611-8-26 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Elise Cachat - Weijia Liu - Peter Hohenstein - Jamie A Davies

Fuente: https://link.springer.com/

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