Living fabrication of functional semi-interpenetrating polymeric materials.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Cell-mediated living fabrication has great promise for generating materials with versatile, programmable functions. Here, we demonstrate the engineering of living materials consisting of semi-interpenetrating polymer networks (sIPN). The fabrication process is driven by the engineered bacteria encapsulated in a polymeric microcapsule, which serves as the initial scaffold. The bacteria grow and undergo programmed lysis in a density-dependent manner, releasing protein monomers decorated with reactive tags. Those protein monomers polymerize with each other to form the second polymeric component that is interlaced with the initial crosslinked polymeric scaffold. The formation of sIPN serves the dual purposes of enhancing the mechanical property of the living materials and anchoring effector proteins for diverse applications. The material is resilient to perturbations because of the continual assembly of the protein mesh from the monomers released by the engineered bacteria. We demonstrate the adoption of the platform to protect gut microbiota in animals from antibiotic-mediated perturbations. Our work lays the foundation for programming functional living materials for diverse applications.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Dai, Z; Yang, X; Wu, F; Wang, L; Xiang, K; Li, P; Lv, Q; Tang, J; Dohlman, A; Dai, L; Shen, X; You, L

Published Date

  • June 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 12 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 3422 -

PubMed ID

  • 34103521

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8187375

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2041-1723

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2041-1723

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/s41467-021-23812-7


  • eng