Forum 02/12/2004

“Tracking the dynamics of individual cells”

Dmitri Volfson, Postgraduate Researcher – UCSD

Research in the Systems Biodynamics Lab (biodynamics.ucsd.edu) is focused on the description and control of the dynamical interactions involved in gene regulation. Our approach is based on the theoretical design and experimental construction of relatively simple synthetic gene “circuits”. These circuits are then placed in living cells and studied as important modules of {\em in vivo} gene regulation.

Although this approach of constructing synthetic gene circuits simplifies the complexity of whole-genome regulation, the development of a quantitative description is still a formidable task.  Theoretically, we approach the design and analysis of the networks using techniques from nonlinear dynamics and statistical physics. Experimentally, one of the major challenges is the development of automated, high-throughput methods for studying the dynamics of individual cells.

In this talk I will discuss simple algorithms which we employ to identify the dynamical state of the system using the duet of bright-field and fluorescent images of the microfluidic chamber filled with cells.

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