There are a bunch of stories out in relation to work from MIT on “Living Materials”
- MIT News Engineers design ‘living materials’
- Value Walk MIT Scientists Develop Living Materials Using 3-D Images Of Bacteria
- Gizmodo MIT’s Living E. Coli Materials Could Provide Self-Aware Surfaces
- The Register RISE of the LIVING CHAIR: Boffins recruit E coli to build futuristic …
- Engadget MIT pioneers ‘living materials’ for self-aware chairs – Engadget
Basically all of these stories refer to a paper in Nature Materials (alas, non Open Access): Synthesis and patterning of tunable multiscale materials with engineered cells. But what appears to be a preprint of the paper (or maybe of a very similar paper) is available on BioRXiv.
Anyway – the concept is interesting. They engineer the bacterium E. coli in various ways and then show that they can get these engineered cells to form fibrils that are controllable and responsive and thus can be used to make living, controllable materials. This is a different angle on the “microbiology of the built environment” for sure – but certainly an interesting one.