Why do we need 3D control?
Life exists in three dimensions but oftentimes, life sciences research remains very flat. Our limitation to control precise behaviour in a 3D space, abstracts what we can do and distances us from in vivo. Having power ful tools in the 3D allows us to both study and control life with more accuracy.
A Bacterial 3D printer
To best demonstrate our 3D control tools, we created a intuitive way to bring our technologies into people’s every day life. We created a bacterial 3D printer, where we developed and characterise optogenetic tools in bacteria to produce a biomaterial when activated. This is a demonstration of our work where we showcase spatial control with a final product. This also allowed us to further characterise biomaterial
production in micro-organisms. We chose to focus on three biomaterials: Calcium Carbonate, Poly-silicate and Poly-hydroalkanoates (PHA). The system also allows us to apply intracellular 3D control, which we achieve thanks to designing synthetic RNA organelles in the cell where local enzyme concentrations are generated. Thus, to perfect our 3D printer we focused on several main axes of research.
Optogenentic ControlThe Medusa optic control system activates bacteria in a target point with two light beams. Thanks to two photoreceptors integrated in an And-Gate logic, only the bacteria located at the intersection of the beams become activated. We implemented two kinds of photoreceptors: a couple of the classical membrane photosensors and two more recent photocaging fluorescent proteins. We processed the inhibitory input of our photosensors thanks to a newly designed Nor-Gate .
RNA organelleRNA is a light cost nucleotide material in the cell, We aim to recreate RNA agglomerations as formed in mammalian cells with triple repeat disorders, which show liquid phase separation, forming a organelle-like vesicle, where local concentrations of enzymes can be created.