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Analysis, control, and engineering of spatiotemporal pattern formation

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 ACE-OF-SPACE project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the ACE-OF-SPACE project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "ACE-OF-SPACE" about.

self    engineer    population    cell    independent    modeling    vertebrate    questions    interact    talk    indicates    thought    members    symmetry    beta    arise    patterning    reaction    diffusion    insights    mouse    biophysical    biology    mechanism    strategies    imaging    orchestrate    opens    tissues    sufficient    mammalian    axis    optogenetics    demonstrated    embryogenesis    pattern    patterned    signaling    developmental    stability    central    mechanisms    zebrafish    opposing    experimentally    theoretical    tissue    bmp    underlying    understand    quantitative    body    molecules    embryos    initially    first    superfamily    temporally    adult    extra    mediated    asymmetric    minimal    bacterial    gain    differentiate    stem    plan    signals    identical    space    prior    absence    analyze    unknown    begun    tgf    organize    precursors    regulated    risk    cross    synthetic    mysterious    small    nodal    secondary    suggest    unclear    cells    previously    organ    homogeneous    time    patterns    form    systems    organizing    colonies    asymmetries    break    engineering    sources    mathematical    allocation    combination    maternal    signal    embryonic    axes   

Project "ACE-OF-SPACE" 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]
 Total cost 1˙997˙750 €
 EC max contribution 1˙997˙750 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2019-COG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2020
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2020-07-01   to  2025-06-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

A central problem in developmental biology is to understand how tissues are patterned in time and space - how do identical cells differentiate to form the adult body plan? Patterns often arise from prior asymmetries in developing embryos, but there is also increasing evidence for self-organizing mechanisms that can break the symmetry of an initially homogeneous cell population. These patterning processes are mediated by a small number of signaling molecules, including the TGF-β superfamily members BMP and Nodal. While we have begun to analyze how biophysical properties such as signal diffusion and stability contribute to axis formation and tissue allocation during vertebrate embryogenesis, three key questions remain. First, how does signaling cross-talk control robust patterning in developing tissues? Opposing sources of Nodal and BMP are sufficient to produce secondary zebrafish axes, but it is unclear how the signals interact to orchestrate this mysterious process. Second, how do signaling systems self-organize to pattern tissues in the absence of prior asymmetries? Recent evidence indicates that axis formation in mammalian embryos is independent of maternal and extra-embryonic tissues, but the mechanism underlying this self-organized patterning is unknown. Third, what are the minimal requirements to engineer synthetic self-organizing systems? Our theoretical analyses suggest that self-organizing reaction-diffusion systems are more common and robust than previously thought, but this has so far not been experimentally demonstrated. We will address these questions in zebrafish embryos, mouse embryonic stem cells, and bacterial colonies using a combination of quantitative imaging, optogenetics, mathematical modeling, and synthetic biology. In addition to providing insights into signaling and development, this high-risk/high-gain approach opens exciting new strategies for tissue engineering by providing asymmetric or temporally regulated signaling in organ precursors.

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