Programming Morphogenesis through Systems and Synthetic Biology

Trends Biotechnol. 2018 Apr;36(4):415-429. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.11.003. Epub 2017 Dec 8.


Mammalian tissue development is an intricate, spatiotemporal process of self-organization that emerges from gene regulatory networks of differentiating stem cells. A major goal in stem cell biology is to gain a sufficient understanding of gene regulatory networks and cell-cell interactions to enable the reliable and robust engineering of morphogenesis. Here, we review advances in synthetic biology, single cell genomics, and multiscale modeling, which, when synthesized, provide a framework to achieve the ambitious goal of programming morphogenesis in complex tissues and organoids.

Keywords: multicellular systems; organoids; single cell genomics; stem cell self-organization; synthetic biology; systems biology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Communication
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Gene Regulatory Networks
  • Genomics
  • Humans
  • Models, Animal
  • Morphogenesis*
  • Organoids / cytology
  • Organoids / physiology*
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Single-Cell Analysis
  • Synthetic Biology
  • Systems Biology*
  • Tissue Engineering