Engineered Living Fabrication: Combining hardware, wetware and software for the non-entropic guided growth of microbial cellulose

Martyn Dade-Robertson, Thora H. Arnardottir, Katie Gilmour, Joshua Loh, Sunbin Lee, Meng Zhang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

57 Downloads (Pure)


This research presents the development and application of an Engineered Living Fabrication (ELF) system, a novel approach for fabricating materials using biological self assembly and robotic hardware. The ELF system incorporates cellulose, grown via custom fermentation vessels, into a bio-manufacturing process enhanced by synthetic biology techniques. This results in cellulose materials with modified properties. The ELF system also includes an automated input system for optogenetic or chemical stimuli and a feedback system for real-time growth monitoring. Simulations, developed in the Processing programming environment, enable the visualization and testing of various fabrication scenarios. Although the system has limitations such as sterility requirements and robustness of engineered organisms, it exhibits potential for creating a new generation of biologically fabricated materials with unique properties. This innovative fabrication method represents a crucial step towards more sustainable and energy-efficient manufacturing strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHabits of the Anthropocene: Scarcity and Abundance in a Post-Material Economy
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 43rd Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture Volume II: Proceedings Book One
EditorsAssia Crawford, Nancy Diniz, Richard Beckett, Jamie Vanucchi, Marc Swackhamer
PublisherAcadia Publishing Company
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9798986080598
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2024
EventACADIA 2023: HABITS OF THE ANTHROPOCENE: SCARCITY AND ABUNDANCE IN A POST-MATERIAL ECONOMY - College of Architecture and Planning, University of Colorado , Denver, United States
Duration: 21 Oct 202328 Oct 2023


ConferenceACADIA 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address

Cite this