Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Home > News >Professor Javier Buceta featured on the cover of Journal of the Royal Society Interface

Professor Javier Buceta featured on the cover of Journal of the Royal Society Interface 

An article co-authored by Dr. Javier Buceta recently appeared in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface and was featured on the cover of the June 2016 issue.

Using quorum sensing modules, the findings in this paper highlight a phase transition that coordinates the behavior of cell ensembles. The research shows that as a function of the transport rate of signalling molecules across the cell membrane, the population undergoes a spontaneous symmetry breaking from cells individually switching their phenotypes to a global collective phenotypic organization.

About the cover: Cells grow and divide to populate a lineage tree (in silico). Vertical lines represent single cells (their lengths indicating the cell cycle duration), horizontal lines indicate division events, and line coloring stands for protein concentration values. As time progresses, gene expression and cell–cell communication lead to a phase transition and cells organize collectively, driven by a symmetry breaking phenomenon alike to that in magnets. The proposed mechanism suggests the possibility to develop organic memory devices (e.g., biosensors that “remember” and store environmental conditions) and may also explain the collective organization of cells in tissues during developmental processes.  


Related Content


June 2016

Javier Buceta

Professor Javier Buceta has recently been published for his research in quorum sensing modules.