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

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

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


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
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 28 Aug 2023
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
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