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Engineering Living Materials IRG2

IRG2, Stimuli-Responsive Living Polymeric Materials, integrates engineered living matter as essential building blocks into biological composites. Together, materials scientists and synthetic biologists enable living materials to respond to specific and diverse stimuli with a genetically encoded output. IRG2 harnesses photosynthetic organisms, such as plants and cyanobacteria, to generate chemical reagents and polymer feedstocks in response to a given stimulus or multiple stimuli. Fundamental questions regarding materials at the living/nonliving interface are being answered in three research thrusts: (1) Stimuli-Responsive Biosynthetic Materials: biological composites that respond to stimuli with a chemical output, (2) Photosynthetic Electronic Materials: living materials that can pattern and biosynthesize conducting polymers, and (3) Auto-Regenerative and Shape-Shifting Materials: polymer composites that can regenerate and whose shape is dynamically controlled by living matter.

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