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Beware, 3D printers. Self-assembling bacteria are coming for your jobs. Specially designed bacteria can organise themselves to make a three-dimensional pressure sensor, new research shows.
Scientists are engineering these critters in order to some day help more cheaply and efficiently manufacture materials that can perform automated tasks.
Lingchon - Biologist - Duke - University - Register
Lingchon You, a synthetic biologist at Duke University, told The Register: "We do believe biofabrication is cheaper and requires less energy" than other approaches.
In the past, scientists have programmed bio-building blocks such as proteins, peptides and DNA to make everything from cylinders to underwater adhesives. For example, in 2014, researchers at MIT engineered bacteria to create thin films that conduct electricity. They placed bacteria in a specific pattern on a 2D surface so that they would pick up inorganic matter.
Work - Assembly - Pressure - Sensors - Bacteria
In the new work described in "Programmable assembly of pressure sensors using pattern-forming bacteria", You and his collaborators programmed bacteria to self-assemble into a functional 3D structure, instead of patterning them in advance, improving the flexibility for making complex physical shapes. They chose a pressure sensor as a "demonstration".
To make it,...
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