A Dynamical Biomolecular Neural Network

Andrew Moorman, Christian Cuba Samaniego, Carlo Maley, Ron Weiss

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

16 Scopus citations


While much of synthetic biology was founded on the creation of reusable, standardized parts, there is now a growing interest in synthetic networks which can compute unique, specially-designed functions in order to recognize patterns or classify cells in-vivo. While artificial neural networks (ANNs) have long provided a mature mathematical framework to address this problem in-silico, their implementation becomes much more challenging in living systems. In this work, we propose a Biomolecular Neural Network (BNN), a dynamical chemical reaction network which faithfully implements ANN computations and which is unconditionally stable with respect to its parameters when composed into deeper networks. Our implementation emphasizes the usefulness of molecular sequestration for achieving negative weight values and a nonlinear activation function in its elemental unit, a biomolecular perceptron. We then discuss the application of BNNs to linear and nonlinear classification tasks, and draw analogies to other major concepts in modern machine learning research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2019 IEEE 58th Conference on Decision and Control, CDC 2019
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781728113982
StatePublished - Dec 2019
Event58th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, CDC 2019 - Nice, France
Duration: Dec 11 2019Dec 13 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control
ISSN (Print)0743-1546
ISSN (Electronic)2576-2370


Conference58th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, CDC 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Control and Optimization


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