Technology mapping of genetic circuit designs


Synthetic biology is a new field in which engineers, biologists, and chemists are working together to transform genetic engineering into an advanced engineering discipline, one in which the design and construction of novel genetic circuits are made possible through the application of engineering principles. This dissertation explores two engineering strategies to address the challenges of working with genetic technology, namely the development of standards for describing genetic components and circuits at separate yet connected levels of detail and the use of Genetic Design Automation (GDA) software tools to simplify and speed up the process of optimally designing genetic circuits. Its contributions to the field of synthetic biology include (1) a proposal for the next version of the Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL), an existing standard for specifying and exchanging genetic designs electronically, and (2) a GDA work ow that enables users of the software tool iBioSim to create an abstract functional specication, automatically select genetic components that satisfy the specication from a design library, and compose the selected components into a standardized genetic circuit design for subsequent analysis and physical construction. Ultimately, this dissertation demonstrates how existing techniques and concepts from electrical and computer engineering can be adapted to overcome the challenges of genetic design and is an example of what is possible when working with publicly available standards for genetic design.

Nicholas Roehner
Nicholas Roehner
Raytheon BBN Technologies, Researcher