Living materials for the deployment of genetically engineered organisms
Author(s)Tham, Eleonore (Eleonore Claure Cecilia)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
Timothy K. Lu.
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The primary objective of this work is to establish an innovative and broad platform to engineer living materials and assemble them into functional devices. First, we assemble bacterial sensor communities into core-shell hydrogel structures to address the major challenge of biocontainment. Biosafety has become a major challenge for synthetic biology tools to transition from laboratory experiments to real applications and prevent potential negative impacts. Genetic and chemical containment strategies have been implemented to restrict the growth and replication of genetically modified organisms while no robust physical containment has been proposed. We developed a hydrogel-based encapsulation technique by leveraging a tough biocompatible shell and genetically recoded organisms to achieve unprecedented containment performance. Then, we implemented biocontainment into wearable hydrogel devices. We use stretchable, robust, and biocompatible hydrogel-elastomer hybrids to host genetically programed bacteria, thus creating a set of stretchable and wearable living materials and devices that possess unprecedented functions and capabilities. Lastly, we genetically encode the formation of biological polymers in E.coli to achieve the self-assembly of bacterial devices. Generating complex biomaterials often requires the coordinated and precise expression of several genes and light induction of biological material formation and patterning offer a powerful toolkit to achieve the necessary degree of precision and control. We leveraged a multichromatic optogenetic control in the bacterium Escherichia coli to express the principal structural component biological nanowires.
Thesis: Ph. D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, 2018.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 99-106).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Materials Science and Engineering.