An ongoing area of study in synthetic biology has been the design and construction of synthetic circuits that maintain homeostasis at the population level. Here, we are interested in designing a synthetic control circuit that regulates the total cell population and the relative ratio between cell strains in a culture containing two different cell strains. We have developed a dual feedback control strategy that uses two separate control loops to achieve the two functions respectively. By combining both of these control loops, we have created a population regulation circuit where both the total population size and relative cell type ratio can be set by reference signals. The dynamics of the regulation circuit show robustness and adaptation to perturbations in cell growth rate and changes in cell numbers. The control architecture is general and could apply to any organism for which synthetic biology tools for quorum sensing, comparison between outputs, and growth control are available.
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