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Shaping pulses to control bistable biological systems

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

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2015 American Control Conference (ACC)
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015
Event2015 American Control Conference - Chicago, United States
Duration: 1 Jul 20153 Jul 2015


Conference2015 American Control Conference
Abbreviated titleACC 2015
CountryUnited States
Internet address


In this paper, we present a framework for shaping pulses to control biological systems, and specifically systems in synthetic biology. By shaping we mean computing the magnitude and the length of a pulse, application of which results in reaching the desired control objective. Hence the control signals have only two parameters, which makes these signals amenable to wetlab implementations. We focus on the problem of switching between steady states in a bistable system. We show how to estimate the set of the switching pulses, if the trajectories of the controlled system can be bounded from above and below by the trajectories of monotone systems. We then generalise this result to systems with parametric uncertainty under some mild assumptions on the set of admissible parameters, thus providing some robustness guarantees. We illustrate the results on some example genetic circuits.

    Research areas

  • biocontrol, genetics, shaping pulse, bistable biological system, synthetic biology, pulse magnitude, pulse length, wetlab implementation, switching pulse, monotone system trajectory, genetic circuit, Switches, Steady-state, Approximation methods, Biological systems, Synthetic biology, Trajectory, monotone systems, near-monotone systems, toggle switch, control by pulses, open-loop control


2015 American Control Conference


Chicago, United States

Event: Conference

ID: 81291876