Evolutionary microfluidics

    Project: EU research project

    Project Details

    Description

    Ever since the insightful suggestion of John von Neumann, self-reproducing automata are considered to be a main long-term goal of IT. Biologists are dealing with such systems that arose in the course of evolution by natural selection. The future realization of technological artefacts that will mimic, or be inspired by biological automata, will face many problems that biological evolution had to solve. e-Flux will develop droplet-based digital microfluidic systems for the manipulation of reproducing artificial compartments and natural cells (including the analysis of adaptive pathways and molecular cooperation). The project combines cutting-edge technological development with high-level theoretical analysis of the experimentally realized systems. By the application of a large population of electronically controlled microdroplets we shall select for RNA replicator-based molecular networks that can learn from experience. The same method will be used to reconstruct a hypothetical interim stage of early biological evolution where protocells harboured a bag of competing catalytically active RNA genes. These achievements need technological development of our microfluidic machinery. As an example of unconventional biotechnology, we will put bacteria into the droplets, and select for various traits in a novel kind of 'evolution machine'. Theoretical analyses will complement the experimental work, especially in order to develop a better understanding of evolvability (the genetically controlled capacity to respond to directional selection) in artificial and natural molecular systems.
    AcronymeFlux
    StatusFinished
    Effective start/end date1/02/0931/05/12

    Research Output

    Adaptive benefits from small mutation supplies in an antibiotic resistance enzyme

    Salverda, M. L. M., Koomen, J., Koopmanschap, B., Zwart, M. P. & De Visser, J. A. G. M., 28 Nov 2017, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 114, 48, p. 12773-12778

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • 10 Citations (Scopus)

    Sequence-function-stability relationships in proteins from datasets of functionally annotated variants: The case of TEM beta-lactamases

    Abriata, L. A., Salverda, M. L. M. & Tomatis, P. E., 2012, In : FEBS Letters. 586, 19, p. 3330-3335

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Open Access
  • 15 Citations (Scopus)