Abstract

Motivation: The goal of synthetic biology is to design and construct biological systems that present a desired behavior. The construction of synthetic gene networks implementing simple functions has demonstrated the feasibility of this approach. However, the design of these networks is difficult, notably because existing techniques and tools are not adapted to deal with uncertainties on molecular concentrations and parameter values.

Results: We propose an approach for the analysis of a class of uncertain piecewise-multiaffine differential equation models. This modeling framework is well adapted to the experimental data currently available. Moreover, these models present interesting mathematical properties that allow the development of efficient algorithms for solving robustness analyses and tuning problems. These algorithms are implemented in the tool RoVerGeNe, and their practical applicability and biological relevance are demonstrated on the analysis of the tuning of a synthetic transcriptional cascade built in Escherichia coli.