Fall Colloquium- Multi-Cell Assemblies: Synthetic Adhesion, Self-assembly, and Optical Control

Dr. Ingmar Riedel-Kruse, University of Arizona

Abstract: Multi-cellularity enables organisms and symbiotic systems to achieve complex tasks through collective emergent phenomena and division of labor among cells. My lab utilizes synthetic biology and biophysics approaches to facilitate the engineering and understanding of such multicell assemblies. I will demonstrate an orthogonal library of genetically encoded heterophilic cell-cell adhesion pairs that enables the self-assembly and patterning of bacterial aggregates at the 5 μm scale [Glass Cell’18], furthermore the optogenetic control of homophilic cell-cell adhesion that enables the programming of biofilm patterns onto surfaces at the 25 μm scale (‘Biofilm Lithography’) [Jin PNAS’18]. I will also demonstrate how we can use interactive, multimodal lightstimuli to control and program the behavior of microswimmers, which led us to the discovery of striking polygonal swimming behaviors caused by a simple cellular control-feedback loop in order to achieve optimal phototaxis [Tsang Nature Physics’18]. Overall, our work aims at a deeper understanding and control of multi-cellular self-assembly, the physics of active matter, and the evolutionary transition to multi-cellular life. 
** Refreshments served from 2:45pm – 3:00pm in PAS 218.  Thank you. ** 


3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 13, 2019


PAS 218