Symposium SM03—Growing Next-Generation Materials with Synthetic Biology
Over the past 2 decades, synthetic biology has emerged as a powerful approach to study and manipulate biology, via the engineering of biosystems, enabling scientists to “re-wire” biomolecular processes within cells; effectively co-opting the cellular factory to produce new chemicals and materials.Synthetic biology has already demonstrated research breakthroughs in novel biomolecules, nano-material assembly and other engineered materials and can now also be produced at scale. Current focus is on "drop-in" replacements for existing products while new products require a multi-disciplinary expertise for the creation of next-generation (meta)materials. Commercial applications of synthetic biology continue to grow but to realize the broader potential and impactt of synthetic biology will require increased collaboration with materials scientists and engineers. The intent of this symposium is to bring together the scientists from this rapidly developing area with the larger materials science community to enhance and broaden the technical landscape for addressing the materials challenges using synthetic biology. The symposium will focus on the development of rapid prototyping tools for biomolecule/material production, new efforts in biomaterials design and production, new characterization techniques to measure material properties in-situ, concepts to use cells to assemble and process materials, advances in biological engineering and techniques and opportunities for collaboration between material science and synthetic biology.