The growth of microorganisms in their environment can be formulated as an optimization problem: the dynamic allocation of resources to different cellular functions so as to maximize fitness. Simple self-replicator models of microorganisms have been used to formulate this problem in the framework of optimal control theory. The resulting problems are quite challenging from a mathematical point of view, due to the nonlinearity of biological systems, parameter uncertainty, and the existence of various physical and chemical constraints. The Maximic project aims at developing novel theoretical approaches for addressing these challenges and experimentally testing their performance. In particular, we will use control theory to study natural resource allocation strategies in microorganisms and propose new synthetic control strategies for biotechnological applications.
Maximic is supported by the French National Research Agency (ANR) under project ANR-17-CE40-0024-01 (2017-2021).