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IRG-1: Bioprogrammable Materials via Cell-Free Synthetic Biology


IRG-1 aims to establish cell-free bioprogrammable materials, a new class of bio inspired composites whose properties autonomously adapt in response to specific spatiotemporal cues via the activity of embedded artificial cells (aCells) and artificial extracellular-matrix (aECM) gels and polymer networks. IRG-1 will establish a new paradigm for enhancing the performance and capabilities of soft active materials by endowing them with the adaptive functionality of biological systems.  Coupling materials design with synthetic biology enables integrated signal processing and transduction capabilities within materials, enabling autonomous adaptability and on-cue mechanical property alterations. The aCell/aECM composites will overcome limitations of engineered living materials by decoupling the material design space from cell survivial, growth, shape, or size, thereby enabling precise control over both aCell and aECM constituents.

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