Biophysical Journal

AI in Cellular Engineering and Reprogramming

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During the last decade, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has increasingly been applied in biophysics and related fields, including cellular engineering and reprogramming, offering novel approaches to understand, manipulate, and control cellular function. The potential of AI lies in its ability to analyze complex datasets and generate predictive models. AI algorithms can process large amounts of data from single-cell genomics and multiomic technologies, allowing researchers to gain mechanistic insights into the control of cell identity and function. By integrating and interpreting these complex datasets, AI can help identify key molecular events and regulatory pathways involved in cellular reprogramming. This knowledge can inform the design of precision engineering strategies, such as the development of new transcription factor and signaling molecule cocktails, to manipulate cell identity and drive authentic cell fate across lineage boundaries. Furthermore, when used in combination with computational methods, AI can accelerate and improve the analysis and understanding of the intricate relationships between genes, proteins, and cellular processes. In this review article we explore the current state of AI applications in biophysics with a specific focus on cellular engineering and reprogramming. Then, we showcase a couple of recent applications where we combined machine learning with experimental and computational techniques. Finally, we briefly discuss the challenges and prospects of AI in cellular engineering and reprogramming, emphasizing the potential of these technologies to revolutionize our ability to engineer cells for a variety of applications, from disease modeling and drug discovery to regenerative medicine and biomanufacturing.