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February 2019

Engineering Living Scaffolds for Building Materials


Scientific Achievement

Foundry staff and users have engineered a set of bacteria that can irreversibly attach hard or soft materials to the cell surface with controllable density.

Significance and Impact

The researchers have created a living construction kit that can make hierarchically ordered materials with the highest surface density of any other engineered living material (ELM). The new platform opens the door to making self-assembling ELMs with specific properties like iridescence.

Research Details

M. Charrier, D. Li, V.R. Mann, L. Yun, S. Jani, B. Rad, B.E. Cohen, P.D. Ashby, K.R. Ryan, C.M. Ajo-Franklin. ACS Syn. Bio. (2019). 8. 181-190. DOI: 10.1021/acssynbio.8b00448