The laboratory for biophysical systems
toward artificial living matter
Welcome to the Lab!
to mimic cellular processes
on artificial systems
Biological systems are inherently complex. This unique complexity emerged from a long history of stochastic evolution in an environment of competition and frustration.
But can we reduce biological complexity? Can we reconstitute specific cellular processes on minimal, simpler, and fully defined systems? What are the minimal components required to reproduce specific biological properties? And once we start to reconstitute cellular processes artificially, how far can we go? Could we end up assembling a full artificial cell, a structure simpler than natural cells but recapitulating the properties of life?
These are the questions our laboratory wants to investigate. Our synthetic strategy aims ultimately toward one of the great contemporary scientific challenges: the assembly of autonomous self-replicating artificial cells exhibiting the essential characteristics of life.
Experimentally, we develop unique biosynthetic platforms based on DNA chips and cell-free gene expression to mimic life-like properties on well-organized and well-characterized surfaces. This transition from a complex three-dimensional natural cell to a two-dimensional structured surface is at the heart of the pursued reduction of complexity.
The laboratory is strongly multidisciplinary, at the interface between quantitative biophysics, synthetic biology, biochemistry, and surface science.