Feb 14, 2014

Synthesizing and Patterning Tunable Multiscale Materials with Engineered Biofilms

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Allen Y ChenTimothy K Lu

Abstract

A major challenge in materials science is to create self-assembling, functional, and environmentally responsive materials which can be patterned across multiple length scales. Natural biological systems, such as biofilms, shells, and skeletal tissues, implement dynamic regulatory programs to assemble complex multiscale materials comprised of living and non-living components[1][1]–[9][2]. Such systems can provide inspiration for the design of heterogeneous functional systems which integrate biotic and abiotic materials via hierarchical self-assembly. Here, we present a synthetic-biology platform for synthesizing and patterning self-assembled functional amyloid materials across multiple length scales with bacterial biofilms. We engineered Escherichia coli curli amyloid production under the tight control of synthetic regulatory circuits and interfaced amyloids with inorganic materials to create a biofilm-based electrical switch whose conductance can be selectively toggled by specific environmental signals. Furthermore, we externally tuned synthetic biofilms to build nanoscale amyloid biomaterials with different structure and composition through the controlled expression of their constituent subunits with artificial gene circuits. ...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Patterns
APP protein, human
Spatial Distribution
Cell Communication
Protein Subunits
Amyloid Deposition
Cellularization
Amyloid
Structure
Skeletal Tissue

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