Synthetic biology aims to develop novel biological systems and increase their reproducibility using engineering principles such as standardisation and modularisation. It is important to represent and share these systems in a standard way to ensure that they can be easily understood, reproduced, and used by other researchers.
The Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL) is a data standard for sharing biological designs and information about their implementation and characterisation. Up to now, this standard has only been used to represent designs in systems where the same design is implemented in every cell; however, there is also much interest in multicellular systems, in which designs involve a mixture of different types of cells with differing genotypes and phenotypes.
This article focuses on how the SBOL standard can be used to represent multicellular systems. Read the full Open Access article available online here.