Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



TECH SPACE
Living Structural Materials Could Open New Horizons for Engineers and Architects
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Aug 10, 2016


How could living materials be used in a home? Consider the benefits to be gained from a chimney that heals after damage, a roof that breathes to control airflow, surfaces that don't flake or fade, and a driveway that eats oil to clean up after spills. For a larger version of this image please go here.

The structural materials that are currently used to construct homes, buildings, and infrastructure are expensive to produce and transport, wear out due to age and damage, and have limited ability to respond to changes in their immediate surroundings. Living biological materials-bone, skin, bark, and coral, for example-have attributes that provide advantages over the non-living materials people build with, in that they can be grown where needed, self-repair when damaged, and respond to changes in their surroundings.

The inclusion of living materials in human-built environments could offer significant benefits; however, today scientists and engineers are unable to easily control the size and shape of living materials in ways that would make them useful for construction.

DARPA is launching the Engineered Living Materials (ELM) program with a goal of creating a new class of materials that combines the structural properties of traditional building materials with attributes of living systems.

Living materials represent a new opportunity to leverage engineered biology to solve existing problems associated with the construction and maintenance of built environments, and to create new capabilities to craft smart infrastructure that dynamically responds to its surroundings.

"The vision of the ELM program is to grow materials on demand where they are needed," said ELM program manager Justin Gallivan. "Imagine that instead of shipping finished materials, we can ship precursors and rapidly grow them on site using local resources. And, since the materials will be alive, they will be able to respond to changes in their environment and heal themselves in response to damage."

Grown materials are not entirely new, but their current manifestations differ substantially from the materials Gallivan envisions. For instance, biologically sourced structural materials can already be grown into specified sizes and shapes from inexpensive feedstocks; packing materials derived from fungal mycelium and building blocks made from bacteria and sand are two modern examples.

And, of course, wood has been used for ages. However, these products are rendered inert during the manufacturing process, so they exhibit few of their components' original biological advantages.

Scientists are making progress with three-dimensional printing of living tissues and organs, using scaffolding materials that sustain the long-term viability of the living cells. These cells are derived from existing natural tissues, however, and are not engineered to perform synthetic functions. And current cell-printing methods are too expensive to produce building materials at necessary scales.

ELM looks to merge the best features of these existing technologies and build on them to create hybrid materials composed of non-living scaffolds that give structure to and support the long-term viability of engineered living cells. DARPA intends to develop platform technologies that are scalable and generalizable to facilitate a quick transition from laboratory to commercial applications.

The long-term objective of the ELM program is to develop an ability to engineer structural properties directly into the genomes of biological systems so that neither scaffolds nor external development cues are needed for an organism to realize the desired shape and properties. Achieving this goal will require significant breakthroughs in scientists' understanding of developmental pathways and how those pathways direct the three-dimensional development of multicellular systems.

Work on ELM will be fundamental research carried out in controlled laboratory settings. DARPA does not anticipate environmental release during the program.

Full details of the ELM program's objectives and deliverables can be found in a Broad Agency Announcement. DARPA is hosting a Proposers Day on August 26, 2016, in Arlington, Va., to further clarify the program vision and answer questions from potential proposers. Advance registration is required

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Space Technology News - Applications and Research






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
TECH SPACE
Towards the T-1000: Liquid metals propel future electronics
Melbourne, Australia (SPX) Aug 10, 2016
Science fiction is inching closer to reality with the development of revolutionary self-propelling liquid metals - a critical step towards future elastic electronics. While building a shape-shifting liquid metal T-1000 Terminator may still be far on the horizon, the pioneering work by researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, is setting the foundation for moving beyond solid ... read more


TECH SPACE
Lockheed Martin, NASA Ink Deal for SkyFire Infrared Lunar Discovery Satellite

As dry as the moon

US company gets historic nod to send lander to moon

China's Jade Rabbit lunar rover dies in blaze of online glory

TECH SPACE
Mineral Veins on Mars Were Formed by Evaporating Ancient Lakes

Evidence of Martian life could be hard to find in some meteorite blast sites

Curiosity Has Disproved 'Old Idea of Mars as a Simple Basaltic Planet'

Rover Game Released for Curiosity's 4th Anniversary on Mars

TECH SPACE
Autonomous interplanetary travel one step closer to reality

After Deadly Crash, Virgin Galactic to Fly Its Spaceplane Once More

Tile Bonding Begins for Orion's First Mission Atop Space Launch System Rocket

Russia, US Discuss Lunar Station for Mars Mission

TECH SPACE
China launches first mobile telecom satellite

China prepares for new round of manned space missions

China begins developing hybrid spacecraft

China to expand int'l astronauts exchange

TECH SPACE
JSC pursues collection of new technologies for ISS

Dream Chaser Spacecraft on Track to Supply Cargo to ISS

Russia launches ISS-bound cargo ship

New Crew Members, Including NASA Biologist, Launch to Space Station

TECH SPACE
Russia to Launch Angara-1.2 Rocket With Korean Satellite KOMPSAT-6 in 2020

NASA Orders Second SpaceX Crew Mission to International Space Station

Russia Postpones Launch of Proton Rocket With US Satellite Until October 10

The rise of commercial spaceports

TECH SPACE
Astronomers catalogs most likely 'second-Earth' candidates

Alien Solar System Boasts Tightly Spaced Planets, Unusual Orbits

NASA's Next Planet Hunter Will Look Closer to Home

First atmospheric study of Earth-sized exoplanets reveals rocky worlds

TECH SPACE
Scientists invent new type of 'acoustic prism'

New algorithm for optimized stability of planar-rod objects

De-icing agent remains stable at more than a million atmospheres of pressure

Living Structural Materials Could Open New Horizons for Engineers and Architects




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement