Control of protein concentrations in heterogeneous cell populations

A. Vignoni, D. A. Oyarzún, J. Picó, G. -. Stan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In this work we propose a synthetic gene circuit for controlling the variability in protein concentration at a population level. The circuit, based on the use of an intracellular nonlinear controller coupled to a cell-to-cell communication mechanism, allows for independent control of the mean and variance of a signalling molecule across cell population. Via a piecewise affine approximation of the nonlinearity, we provide set invariance results that imply the stability of the closed loop system. We also obtain closed-form expressions for the mean and variance as a function of the tuneable parameters of the controller. The predictions offered by the theoretical analysis are in agreement with numerical simulations performed with physiologically realistic parameters in Escherichia coli.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2013 European Control Conference (ECC)
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2013
Event2013 European Control Conference - Zurich, Switzerland
Duration: 17 Jul 201319 Jul 2013


Conference2013 European Control Conference
Abbreviated titleECC13
Internet address


  • biochemistry
  • biocontrol
  • cellular biophysics
  • closed loop systems
  • genetics
  • microorganisms
  • molecular biophysics
  • nonlinear control systems
  • proteins
  • protein concentration control
  • heterogeneous cell population
  • synthetic gene circuit
  • population level
  • intracellular nonlinear controller
  • cell-to-cell communication mechanism
  • signalling molecule
  • piecewise affine approximation
  • closed loop system stability
  • numerical simulations
  • Escherichia coli
  • Sociology
  • Statistics
  • Proteins
  • Equations
  • Approximation methods
  • Mathematical model
  • Steady-state


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