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DNA Lattice-Encoded Information for Genotype-to-Phenotype Evolution of Self-Replicating Synthetic Cells

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 DNA-ENC SYNCELLS project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the DNA-ENC SYNCELLS project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "DNA-ENC SYNCELLS" about.

tissue    heidelberg    subjected    replication    evolution    catalysts    spatz    cellular    scission    repair    fundamental    act    pressures    planck    tile    perspectives    envisioned    trajectory    subsequent    initiated    populations    microfluidics    influence    genome    replicating    sequentially    evolutionary    adding    heterogeneous    applicability    programmable    career    medical    biophysics    stiff    cells    host    life    nanotechnology    mechanical    expertise    man    mechanically    phenotype    supervised    assembled    synergy    bits    serve    self    cargo    division    first    soft    enzymes    mechanics    completely    profiting    materials    cytoskeleton    tiles    biology    vitro    compartmentalisation    bioprinting    darwinian    3d    rate    fellowship    broad    interdisciplinary    chip    transport    lipogenesis    principles    specifying    multiple    within    max    autonomous    realised    hosted    types    quality    joachim    enc    synthetic    substrates    framework    microfluidic    artificial    pathogen    inheritable    encodes    dna    variations    machines    prof    compartments    recognition    cycles    time    vivo    arranged    shaping    syncells    lattice    made   

Project "DNA-ENC SYNCELLS" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 80539
website: n.a.

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Germany [DE]
 Project website
 Total cost 159˙460 €
 EC max contribution 159˙460 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2017
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-03-01   to  2020-02-29


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Within the framework of DNA-ENC SYNCELLS I will develop a synthetic inheritable genome capable of Darwinian evolution which encodes for the phenotype of self-replicating synthetic cells. The defining principles of life, namely compartmentalisation, replication and evolution, will thus be realised in a completely synthetic system for the first time. Two types of DNA tiles – a stiff and a soft tile – arranged in a lattice will serve as bits of information, replicating, without any enzymes, via mechanical scission. The DNA lattice will further act as an artificial cytoskeleton specifying the mechanics and shaping the phenotype of synthetic compartments assembled on a microfluidic chip. After sequentially adding the DNA tiles and catalysts for lipogenesis, the synthetic cells will be subjected to multiple growth and mechanically initiated division cycles. Variations in the mechanical properties will influence the division rate and thus lead to evolution in heterogeneous populations. The evolutionary trajectory of the system will be studied under different selection pressures. Within this two-year fellowship, hosted at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg and supervised by Prof. Joachim Spatz, I will contribute to the fundamental knowledge of synthetic cells and enhance its applicability using programmable man-made materials. Greatly profiting from the synergy between my expertise on DNA nanotechnology and the host’s high-quality research on microfluidics, synthetic biology and biophysics, this interdisciplinary project will open up broad perspectives for cellular machines capable of autonomous cargo transport, pathogen recognition or as substrates for 3D-bioprinting and tissue repair in vitro and in vivo – the envisioned focus of my subsequent career in research.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Alexander Ohmann, Kerstin Göpfrich, Himanshu Joshi, Rebecca F Thompson, Diana Sobota, Neil A Ranson, Aleksei Aksimentiev, Ulrich F Keyser
Controlling aggregation of cholesterol-modified DNA nanostructures
published pages: 11441-11451, ISSN: 0305-1048, DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkz914
Nucleic Acids Research 47/21 2020-03-25
2018 Kerstin Göpfrich, Ilia Platzman, Joachim P. Spatz
Mastering Complexity: Towards Bottom-up Construction of Multifunctional Eukaryotic Synthetic Cells
published pages: , ISSN: 0167-7799, DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2018.03.008
Trends in Biotechnology 2020-03-25
2018 Barbara Haller, Kerstin Göpfrich, Martin Schröter, Jan-Willi Janiesch, Ilia Platzman, Joachim P. Spatz
Charge-controlled microfluidic formation of lipid-based single- and multicompartment systems
published pages: , ISSN: 1473-0197, DOI: 10.1039/C8LC00582F
Lab on a Chip 2020-03-25
2019 Kerstin Göpfrich, Barbara Haller, Oskar Staufer, Yannik Dreher, Ulrike Mersdorf, Ilia Platzman, Joachim P. Spatz
One-Pot Assembly of Complex Giant Unilamellar Vesicle-Based Synthetic Cells
published pages: , ISSN: 2161-5063, DOI: 10.1021/acssynbio.9b00034
ACS Synthetic Biology 2020-03-25
2019 Kevin Jahnke, Marian Weiss, Christoph Frey, Silvia Antona, Jan‐Willi Janiesch, Ilia Platzman, Kerstin Göpfrich, Joachim P. Spatz
Programmable Functionalization of Surfactant‐Stabilized Microfluidic Droplets via DNA‐Tags
published pages: 1808647, ISSN: 1616-301X, DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201808647
Advanced Functional Materials 2020-03-25

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