Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Programming dynamic nonlinear biomolecular devices using DNA strand displacement reactions
Author: Sawlekar, Rucha
ISNI:       0000 0004 6423 6012
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2016
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Recent advances in DNA computing have greatly facilitated the design of biomolecular circuitry based on toehold-mediated DNA strand displacement (DSD) reactions. The synthesis of biomolecular circuits for controlling molecular-scale processes is an important goal of synthetic biology with a wide range of in vitro and in vivo applications. In this thesis, new results are presented on how chemical reaction networks (CRNs) can be used as a programming language to implement commonly used linear and nonlinear system theoretic operators that can be further utilised in combination to form complex biomolecular circuits. Within the same framework, the design of an important class of nonlinear feedback controller, i.e. a quasi sliding mode (QSM) feedback controller, is proposed. The closed loop response of the nonlinear QSM controller is shown to outperform a traditional linear proportional+integrator (PI) controller by facilitating much faster tracking response dynamics without introducing overshoots in the transient response. The resulting controller is highly modular and is less affected by retroactivity effects than standard linear designs. An important issue to consider in this design process for synthetic circuits is the effect of biological and experimental uncertainties on the functionality and reliability of the overall circuit. In the case of biomolecular feedback control circuits, such uncertainties could lead to a range of adverse effects, including achieving wrong concentration levels, sluggish performance and even instability. In this thesis, the robustness properties of two biomolecular feedback controllers; PI and QSM, subject to uncertainties in the experimentally implemented rates of their underlying chemical reactions, and to variations in accumulative time delays in the process to be controlled, are analysed. The simulation results show that the proposed QSM controller is significantly more robust against investigated uncertainties, highlighting its potential as a practically implementable biomolecular feedback controller for future synthetic biology applications. Finally, the thesis presents new results on the design of biomolecular feedback controllers using the set of chemical reactions underlying covalent modification cycles.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: TP Chemical technology