Project

Hybrid Living Materials

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The Mediated Matter group

 The Mediated Matter group

Hybrid Living Materials (HLMs) are formed by combining living and non-living components such that the resulting composite takes on the properties of both. HLMs are amongst an emergent class of materials aimed at expanding the ways in which living cells can be functionalized to generate new material properties.

Hybrid Living Materials (HLMs) are formed by combining living and non-living components such that the resulting composite takes on the properties of both. HLMs are amongst an emergent class of materials aimed at expanding the ways in which living cells can be functionalized to generate new material properties.

Copyright

The Mediated Matter group

Copyright

The Mediated Matter group

The HLM platform is a method of interfacing a 3D digital design and printing platform with engineered bacteria, in such a way that we achieve programmable, replicable control of gene expression across the surface of 3D printed objects. This research contributes to the growing field of biohybrid and engineered living materials (ELMs), aimed at incorporating engineerable, living cells into traditional, static materials to bequeath them with unique biological and responsive properties.

Copyright

The Mediated Matter group

We demonstrate this technology to create brilliant color patterns on 3D objects of wearable scale (expression of color-producing enzymes, and fluorescent proteins). With the ability to plan gene expression patterns along with 3D-geometry in a CAD-like environment, such techniques may someday be extended to the patterned production of drugs in personized drug delivery devices, or the design of controlled biochemical production on material surfaces for industrial surface treatments (etching, dying, etc.) or consumer goods. 

The paper “Hybrid Living Materials: Digital Design and Fabrication of 3D Multi-material Structures with Programmable Biohybrid Surfaces” is available online or from the Media Lab website.