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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/D023378/1
Title: IDEAS Factory - Chemical Craftwork: Evolvable CHELLware
Principal Investigator: Whitaker, Professor JBC
Other Investigators:
Schroeder, Professor SLM Cronin, Professor L Krasnogor, Professor N
Whitby, Professor RJ Davis, Professor B
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
University of Glasgow University of Manchester, The University of Oxford
University of Southampton
Department: Sch of Chemistry
Organisation: University of Leeds
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 October 2005 Ends: 31 March 2009 Value (£): 81,737
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Biological & Medicinal Chem. Bioprocess Engineering
Chemical Synthetic Methodology Complex fluids & soft solids
Fundamentals of Computing Light-Matter Interactions
Modelling & simul. of IT sys. Non-linear Systems Mathematics
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Chemicals Healthcare
Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Related Grants:
EP/D021847/1
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Darwinian evolution by natural selection has been adopted by living systems as a robust solution to the problems of surviving in and adapting to a changing environment. In other fields computer algorithms which mimic this evolutionary strategy are finding many applications; particularly in electronic engineering, where field programmable gate arrays can be constructed by evolutionary programs to perform complicated tasks. This approach to electronic circuit design is known as Evolvable Hardware. In EHW an electronic circuit can change, adapt and reconfigure its own hardware structure in response to environmental changes (e.g. malfunctions, disconnections, modifications of functional requirements, etc.). Our proposal is based on the analogous idea of using evolutionary algorithms to develop chemical functionality in arrays of programable chemical reactors, based on current lab-on-a-chip and electrochemical cells. In the future we hope to apply these methods to complex reactors built in artificial vesicles which communicate by chemical signals much like a living cell.
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Organisation Website: http://www.leeds.ac.uk