About this course
Living cells have unique functions that can be harnessed by engineers to tackle human problems in energy, water, food, and health.
Historically living cells were considered too difficult to predictably engineer because of their complexity, vulnerability, and continuous change in state. The elucidation of the design principles that underlie cell function along with increasing numbers of examples of hybrid cell based devices are slowly erasing that notion.
In this class you will be learn about these established and emerging cellular design principles and begin to view cells as machines. This knowledge can also then be applied to non-living devices that mimic and communicate with cells. You will also be introduced to current and emerging living/non-living biohybrid devices such as biohybrid robots and neural implants.
What you'll learn
- How fundamental engineering principles apply to living cells.
- What engineering principles can tells us about how cells function.
- Established and emerging, equations, models, and design curves that can be used to tune, re-engineer, or build new cells.
- A framework for measuring and controlling cells as microdevices.
- An introduction to emerging biohybrid devices.
Module 1: Introduction
- Cells by the Numbers
- Cell as a Machine
- Bioinspiration: The Photoreceptor as an organic microdevice
Module 2: Cell Architecture
- Cell & Organelle Size
- Organelle Number
- Biological Networks
Module 3: Gene Expression & Circuits
- Intro to Transcription Networks
- Simple Model of Gene Expression
- Protein Half Lives
- Feedforward Loops
Module 4: Cell Dynamics
- Basic Tools for Nonlinear Dynamics of Cells
- Gene switches
- Biological Oscillations
Module 5: Cellular Devices
- Intro to Living Biohybrids
- Cell Device Biointerface
- Cells as Sensors
- Cells as Actuators
- Cell - Device Integration
Module 6: The Future
- Synthetic Life
- Applications of Biohybrids
- Ethics and Society
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