Hardware, Software, Wetware, Co-Design Research
High level application specifications are automatically converted to hardware to support the functional, structural, and performance requirements of the described application. In CIDAR, this hardware takes the form of custom microfluidic devices that can control, manipulate, and process data for engineered biological systems.
Software tools and algorithms provide mechanisms to map application functionality to biological elements (e.g. compile to DNA). In addition, software can be automatically generated to control microfluidics to meet specific function and performance requirements.
Engineered biological building blocks with well characterized performance parameters are the primitives on which CIDAR research designs systems. These elements are explicitly designed to be amendable to high throughput assembly protocols and are stored both virtually and physically using on-line "parts registries".
Software tools make synthetic biology more effective by integrating concepts from electronic design automation into the specification, design, and assembly of complex biological systems.
CIDAR is composed of a diverse team of undergraduates, graduate students, post-docs, and research staff from a range of programming, engineering and scientific backgrounds.
Mixed Purpose Workspaces
With both Computational and Wetlab facilities, CIDAR has workspaces for software development and biological engineering research across multiple departments at Boston University.
Tyler Wagner designs RNA circuits that enable precise control over the dose of therapeutic protein
CIDAR Lab’s graduate student, Tyler Wagner just published his work on small molecule regulators that control the RNA based circuits in Nature Chemical Biology. Nature Chem Biology article: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41589-018-0146-9 MIT News article: http://news.mit.edu/2018/rna-circuit-gene-therapy-protein-1016