Liverpool Centre for Mathematics in Healthcare

30th January 2019 - Seminar - Multiscale mathematical problems in synthetic biology - Dr Mohit Dalwadi - (University of Oxford)

Time: 13:00-14:00

Venue: MATH-105, First Floor, Department of Mathematical Science Building


One goal of synthetic biology is to manipulate the metabolic pathways of microorganisms to create 'cell factories' which produce, for example, environmentally friendly biofuels and cheaper medicines. In this talk, we show how mathematical modelling can be used to provide insight into several multiscale processes involved in this aspect of synthetic biology, and thus to expedite the exploration of experimental parameter space for faster technological growth.

In the first part of this talk, we investigate the feasibility of various metabolic pathways through an exploration of their reaction kinetics. As the experimental parameter space is fairly large, we exploit a small parameter to perform an asymptotic analysis. This maximizes our analytic progress, allowing us to determine how each system behaves as a function of its experimental parameters and the key reactions in each pathway.

In the second part of this talk, we show how the effective nutrient uptake over a colony of bacteria depends on the bacterial properties by systematically upscaling an appropriate reaction-diffusion system. We use asymptotic homogenization to obtain an effective equation which takes the bacterial information into account. This will show us when the intuitive volume and surface area scalings are each valid, as well as the correct form of the effective uptake when neither of these scalings is appropriate.