The concept of our idea is to strengthen the bio-pattern formation in augmented reality which means we are trying to make control of the bio-pattern by computer paths and systems. The pattern formation has been a significant research field in synthetic biology over the past 50 years,there were several major breakthroughs on the mechanism of the form of biology. Many scientific research teams are trying to verify and understand these theoretical models with the idea of synthetic loop. In the meanwhile, we also considered what bio-pattern formation could be applied for and how bio-pattern formation could influence our lives. Moreover, we did other work to help our project. And we also do some outreach activities to raise public understanding of our project.

Came to Know BioPaFiAR

            ——make reality get closer to the virtual

How does the biological pattern formation came into exist? That is a fundamental question need to be answered. BioPaFiAR stands for biological pattern formation in AR. The bio-systems always form complicated pattern or construction, for example, the stria of zebra, the plume of peafowl, the spot of leopard, the squama of fishes and the petal. The bio-process of forming this well-aligned construction was named ”the pattern formation” and it always refers to the intricate regulate and control, the alter of gene expression, the shape change of cellular, the motion\multiplication\death of cellular and the interaction of cellular with environment.

Synthetic biology is an emerging field of biology research that combines science and engineering to study the mechanism of life and for a variety of technological applications. Research in synthetic biology has primarily focused on developing an engineering dogma for bottom-up design and synthetic of biological circuits from standardized parts and modules followed by optimizing their operation on well-characterized chassis, in vivo or in vitro.

In the past decade, the synthetic biologists are trying to integrate the idea of physics and engineering science into biology, yet made great progress. One major purpose of synthetic biology is to transform the cellular to let it have a new function. However , another important purpose in this field”understanding life in the way we creating it” is becoming more and more attractive. The traditional method for biological pattern formation researching is forward genetic and backward genetic. Therefore,it is a significant shift to use the idea of synthetic biology in the biological pattern formation researching.

So we design this project to propose a concept that biochemist reaction in different kinds of biological stimulation can be mimicked by placing cells in AR system can be applied in medical field or in our daily lives. For example, the biological material 3D printing and in vitro induction of tissue or organ. In the meanwhile, we also considered what bio-pattern formation could be applied for and how bio-pattern formation could influence our lives. Moreover, we did other work to help our project. And we also do some outreach activities to raise public understanding of our project.

In the safety part, our lab locates in the building of college of life science and technology in Huazhong Agricultural. For our project is actually safe to the society and the outside world ,we have some basic safety requirements in the laboratory such as the lab coat and gloves must be worn all the time during work, we also printed “Dos and don’ts when using hazardous chemicals” and posted them on marked place.

However, It is just like seeking a road in the maze of complex cellular components and muti-layer control network to use to traditional bottom-up methods to study the biological pattern formation. In most of the cases, it is all complicated. Though we can rebuild some key components of the bio-systems with the traditional vitro bottom-up method, it still need detailed molecular mechanism yet artificial. Using synthetic biology to create a new biological pattern formation to form a system was a more radical idea. We can learn some unknown principle during the building process of the artificial pattern system.

The similarity between the artificial system and the natural system is understandable for the diversity of the natural patterns. Researchers can re-examining the regular pattern in the natural system with the principles known from the artificial systems.

On the other hand, a major purpose of synthetic biology is to build a new bio-system, we have notice dozens of components in the bio-system and the interaction mechanism between them. But how can we put them together to form a functional bio-system or a ordered bio-construction like blood vessel, skin or even heart?

It was a great challenge for the tissue engineering, one feasible method is 3D printing: constructing the ultimate pattern and size of the tissues directly. Another method is to program the pattern in need. The later one is closer to the natural process and it lasts longer. The combination of these two method can be used to build a bio-construction and help the researchers to understand the basic principles of the biological pattern formation.

However, neither the scientific complexity nor the technological uncertainty of the research has been thoroughly studied. In addition, the legal and ethical concerns of its social and humanitarian impact is largely yet to be addressed. Proper regulations should be developed to support the innovation and related application transformation while protecting the public from potential harms.


1. Xiong Y,Chen D M,Yang C, Zhao G P. Progress and perspective of synthetic biology. Chinese Bulletin of Life Sciences,2011,23:827-831

2. Wang X L, Liu C L, Fu X F,et al. Synthetic biology: a new means of biological pattern formation study. SCIENTIA SINICA Vitae, 2015, 45: 928-934


One of our most successful educational initiatives this year is that our team wrote and published a handbook which combined the synthetic biology, bioinformatics and molecular biological technology to give the public a better understanding of the synthetic biology and what synthetic biology can do for our life. Also, we state a brief introduction of the iGEM competition and the team of HZAU-China .

In order to use the opportunity of working and learning with students to the maximum, we hosted a freshman reception to the college of life, science and technology in Huazhong Agricultural University. In which we give a introduction of the bio-pattern formation and synthetic biology, we gave a invitation for the students to visit the HZAU-China Laboratory in the same time.

Public Engagement

HZAU-China took part in calculating system biology conference which hosted by the college of science in Huazhong Agricultural University on March,2016. The conference lasted 3 days and talked about the bio-power system and the synthetic biology. We helped the meeting to conduct smoothly and discussed some topics about synthetic biology and questions of our project this year with the expert and professors who participated the conference.


Our team has always been looking for chances to communicate with various student associations and activities. This year, we host the “One-Thousand Question”program together with the student union of the the college of life, science and technology in Huazhong Agricultural University. “One-Thousand Question” program is aimed at the communication between the professors and the undergraduate students and this is the seventh program carried in the college. During which we talked about the learning methods and how to gain a better understanding of the synthetic biology.


Team experience-sharing with NPU

The HZAU-China helped the newly iGEM team of the Northwestern Pyrotechnical University to complete their team structure and in Wuhan on May,2016. This sharing lasted 3 days and during which we shared different ideas and thoughts with each other,including the whole set of the project ,the human practice part and how to build the team.We discussed how to make the program better and raise the public aware of synthetic biology.

Collaboration with HUST-China

In August,2016 we collaborated with Huazhong University of Science and Technology in the interlab program, sharing the LUDOX reagent. And in October,we shared our ELIASA with HUST-China due to their equipment failure.

Deep collaboration with ZJU-iGEM

we shared the HZAU-China Laboratory with Zhejiang University due to the security need during G20 Summit,applying molecular cloning technique,microfluidics testing platform and photocontrol system. Besides ,we guided the design of ZJU-iGEM’s microfluidics equipment. We get the gene knockout plasmid from ZJU-iGEM.

Meet up

2016 HUST China cheering up

Our team take part in 2016 iGEM HUST China cheering up in Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan this summer. We shared our idea and experience of experiments and mathematical modeling with other iGEMers. There were so many enthusiastic students from the university all over the country. We talked about projects, some difficulties we ever faced during the conference.

2016 STSU CCiC

We are invited to participate in the third CCiC (Conference of China iGEMer's Committee) hosted by SUN YAT-SEN University on September ,2016. In the presentation time, many teams show their project and ideas . In tea break time, we communicated actively with other teams about our project, and received many good advice and suggestions.

By the way, the CCiC means “Central China iGEMers Consortium”. It’s origin from the 1st Central China iGEMers' meet up hosted by our team in 2014.

Mini talks with ZJU-iGEM

During the summer vacation ,6 members of our team went to Zhejiang University for a minitype communication.In the meeting we discussed the project and teams of each other. We got some useful feedback for our project ideas , and also some valuable advice about how to successfully plan and execute an iGEM project in general. It was a really inspiring communication that properly kicked off our thinking into human practices.

Enterprise and society

Combining with our program this year(bio-pattern formation in augmented reality),we are looking for a relevant and influential enterprise for further development. In the research and observation of our program, we are planning to bring in the monitoring function of computer in order to get a real time monitoring and adjustment of the bio-pattern which means connect the virtual world with the real cultivate, that’s the AR part of our program. So we decided to collaborate with Baofeng company which was a video player technology company in China to provide us the equipment we need. And using the impact of the company to present the public the vast amount of possibilities that synthetic biology has to offer to not only the scientific community, but also the public community.

Law and regulation

We are hammer at applying for a patent for our program this year (bio-pattern formation in augmented reality), the relevant data and information have been handed in to the State Intellectual Property Office of the P.R.C.