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Nat Mater. 2014 May;13(5):515-23. doi: 10.1038/nmat3912. Epub 2014 Mar 23.

Synthesis and patterning of tunable multiscale materials with engineered cells.

Author information

1
1] Biophysics Program, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA [2] Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA [3] Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA [4] MIT Synthetic Biology Center, 500 Technology Square Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA [5] Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology, Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, 77 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.
2
1] Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA [2] Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA [3] MIT Synthetic Biology Center, 500 Technology Square Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.
3
Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.
4
1] Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA [2] Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA [3] MIT Synthetic Biology Center, 500 Technology Square Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA [4] MIT Microbiology Program, 77 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.
5
1] Biophysics Program, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA [2] Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA [3] Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA [4] MIT Synthetic Biology Center, 500 Technology Square Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA [5] MIT Microbiology Program, 77 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.

Abstract

Many natural biological systems--such as biofilms, shells and skeletal tissues--are able to assemble multifunctional and environmentally responsive multiscale assemblies of living and non-living components. Here, by using inducible genetic circuits and cellular communication circuits to regulate Escherichia coli curli amyloid production, we show that E. coli cells can organize self-assembling amyloid fibrils across multiple length scales, producing amyloid-based materials that are either externally controllable or undergo autonomous patterning. We also interfaced curli fibrils with inorganic materials, such as gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) and quantum dots (QDs), and used these capabilities to create an environmentally responsive biofilm-based electrical switch, produce gold nanowires and nanorods, co-localize AuNPs with CdTe/CdS QDs to modulate QD fluorescence lifetimes, and nucleate the formation of fluorescent ZnS QDs. This work lays a foundation for synthesizing, patterning, and controlling functional composite materials with engineered cells.

PMID:
24658114
PMCID:
PMC4063449
DOI:
10.1038/nmat3912
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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