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Symposium SB01-Fundamentals and Applications of Engineered Living Materials

This symposium will broadly cover work that integrates materials with living organisms or other biologically active structures to create multifunctional composites and systems. Exciting advances in this field include new materials synthesis and processing approaches that combine natural/synthetic polymers with living cells, synthetic biology approaches to engineer materials properties, and emerging applications that utilize the unique, multifunctional nature of engineered living materials. Living organisms self-replicate, sense and respond to subtle changes in the surrounding environment, and heal damage using abundant energy sources. Despite many advances in non-living responsive materials, these behaviors can only be partially replicated. In recent years, strategies have emerged that directly integrate living cells, from bacteria and yeast to myocytes, with engineered materials. Importantly advances in synthetic biology have been leveraged to engineer the behavior of the living material. The resulting composites have properties that originate from living organisms, such as programmed responses to specific environmental cues, and properties dictated by the non-living material, including processability and engineered mechanical properties. Related efforts that incorporate engineered materials, organelles, and even some multicellular organisms will also be discussed. Integration of synthetic materials and systems with living organisms (e.g., insects) to augment their functional attributes (e.g., sensing, actuation, navigation) while not compromising their natural abilities is also of interest.

This symposium will cover basic research including new approaches to use synthetic biology in engineered living materials and structure-processing-property relationships of this class of materials. This symposium will also address advances in the areas of biosensing, drug delivery, sustainable manufacturing, soft robotics, and others. The invited speakers will include leaders in academia, government, and industry. The symposium will seek to foster collaboration in this growing research area between materials scientists, synthetic biologists, and engineers interested in a variety of applications.

Topics will include:

  • Sustainable manufacturing
  • Biofilms
  • Biomineralization
  • 3D/4D Printing
  • Materials and systems for cyborgs
  • Cell-material interactions
  • Living soft robots
  • Living drug delivery systems
  • Living biosensors
  • Living construction materials and infrastructure
  • Self-healing living materials
  • Stimuli-responsive living materials
  • Synthetic biology for living materials

Invited Speakers (tentative):

  • Aranzazu del Campo (INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials, Germany)
  • Sarah Glaven (U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, USA)
  • Chelsea Heveran (Montana State University, USA)
  • Neel Joshi (Northeastern University, USA)
  • David Kaplan (Tufts University, USA)
  • Jinyao Liu (Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China)
  • Anne Meyer (University of Rochester, USA)
  • Alshakim Nelson (University of Washington, USA)
  • Meredith Silberstein (Cornell University, USA)
  • Silvia Vignolini (University of Cambridge, United Kingdom)
  • Ilja Voets (Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands)
  • Qiming Wang (University of Southern California, USA)

Symposium Organizers

Taylor Ware
Texas A&M University
Biomedical Engineering; Materials Science and Engineering
No Phone for Symposium Organizer Provided , [email protected]

Marie-Eve Aubin-Tam
Delft University of Technology
Bionanoscience department
No Phone for Symposium Organizer Provided , [email protected]

Maneesh Gupta
Air Force Research Laboratory
Materials and Manufacturing Directorate

Srikanth Singamaneni
Washington University in St. Louis
Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering

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MRS publishes with Springer Nature



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