Thinking Soils: a synthetic biology approach to material-based design computation

Dade-Robertson, Martyn, Corral, Javier Rodriguez, Mitrani, Helen, Zhang, Meng, Wipat, Anil, Ramirez-Figueroa, Carolina and Hernan, Luis (2016) Thinking Soils: a synthetic biology approach to material-based design computation. In: ACADIA 2016 Conference, 27th - 29th October 2016, Michigan.

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The paper details the computational modelling work to define a new type of responsive material system based on genetically engineered bacteria cells. We introduce the discipline of synthetic biology and show how it may be possible to program a cell to respond genetically to inputs from its environment. We propose a system of synthetic biocementing, where engineered cells, living within a soil matrix, respond to pore pressure changes in their environment when the soil is loaded by synthesising new material and strengthening the soil. We develop a prototype CAD system which maps genetic responses of individual bacteria cells to geotechnical models of stress and pore pressure. We show different gene promoter sensitivities may make substantial changes to patterns of consolidation. We conclude by indicating future research in this area which combines both in vivo and in silico work.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: C700 Molecular Biology, Biophysics and Biochemistry
H200 Civil Engineering
K100 Architecture
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Applied Sciences
Depositing User: Meng Zhang
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2016 15:57
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 09:03

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