University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Physics and Astronomy Calendar

Tuesday, September 16th 2014
2:30 pm:
Biophysics Seminar in 210 Physics
Speaker: Marc Riedel, University of Minnesota
Subject: Towards a Computer Engineering Discipline based on DNA

Just as electronic systems implement computation in terms of voltage (energy per unit charge), molecular systems compute in terms of chemical concentrations (molecules per unit volume). In this talk, we present novel constructs for logical and arithmetic functions such as addition, multiplication, exponentiation, and logarithms with molecular reactions. Building on these results, we present a general methodology for implementing synchronous sequential computation. A four-phase clock signal is generated through robust, sustained chemical oscillations. Memory elements are implemented by transferring concentrations between molecular types in alternating phases of the clock. We illustrate the methodology with the design of filters for digital signal processing. All of our designs are mapped to DNA-strand displacement reactions (as proposed by Soloveichik, PNAS 2010). We validate these through ODE simulations of the mass-action kinetics of the DNA reactions. Although conceptual for the time being, this research has potential applications in fields such as drug delivery, biochemical sensing, and metabolic engineering.

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