TAPDANCE Research team
In biological systems we see extraordinarily sophisticated growth processes, where molecular self-assembly is combined with active molecular components. Indeed, biological systems consume energy (e.g. ATP) and exhibit phenomena such as rapid growth in cell size and numbers, reconfiguration of internal components, molecular motors that push and pull large structures around, as well as molecular complexes, cells and whole organs that actively respond to the environment. Computer science gives us tools and methodologies to think about and design systems with large number of interacting components. Our goal is to bring these ideas together to design computational molecular systems.
The work of the TAPDANCE team is concerned with the theory and practice of active DNA nanostructures that build structures and compute, all at the nanoscale.
We focus on:
Proposing and analysing models of computation for nanoscale biomolecular systems. This includes finding new models for the systems we wish to build, proving theorems (e.g. about their computational power), as well as developing the theory of existing models.
Implementing these models in the wet-lab, primarily using DNA.
Software to design these kinds of systems (e.g. DNA sequence design) as well as coarse-grained molecular models for system analysis. Software tools are one of the main ways we bridge the gap between theory and experiments.