Abstract

The design of genetic networks with specific functions is one of the major goals of synthetic biology. However, constructing biological devices that work “as required” remains challenging, while the cost of uncovering flawed designs experimentally is large. To address this issue, we propose a fully automated framework that allows the correctness of synthetic gene networks to be formally verified in silico from rich, high level functional specifications. Given a device, we automatically construct a mathematical model from experimental data characterizing the parts it is composed of. The specific model structure guarantees that all experimental observations are captured and allows us to construct finite abstractions through polyhedral operations. The correctness of the model with respect to temporal logic specifications can then be verified automatically using methods inspired by model checking. Overall, our procedure is conservative but it can filter through a large number of potential device designs and select few that satisfy the specification, to be implemented and tested further experimentally. As illustration, our methods are applied to the design of a simple synthetic gene network.