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First published 20 July 2015

Spatial Computing in Synthetic Bioware: Creating Bacterial Architectures

Jonathan Pascalie, Martin Potier, Taras Kowaliw, Jean-Louis Giavitto, Olivier Michel, Antoine Spicher, and René Doursat

Abstract (Excerpt)

Synthetic biology is an emerging scientific field that promotes the standardized manufacturing of biological components without natural equivalents. Its goal is to create artificial living systems that can meet various needs in health care, nanotechnology and energy. Most works are currently focused on the individual bacterium as a chemical reactor. Our project, SynBioTIC, addresses a novel and more complex challenge: shape engineering, i.e. the redesign of natural morphogenesis toward a new kind of “developmental 3D printing”. Potential applications include organ growth, natural computing in biocircuits, or future vegetal houses. Using realistic agent-based simulations of bacterial mats, we experiment with mechanisms allowing cell assemblies to collectively self-repair and develop complex structures.