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Towards Light-Regulated Living Biomaterials

submitted on 26.02.2018, 21:04 and posted on 27.02.2018, 15:05 by Shrikrishnan Sankaran, Shifang Zhao, Christina Muth, Julieta Paez, Aránzazu del Campo
Living materials are a rapidly emerging material class, infused with the productive, adaptive and regenerative properties of living organisms. Property regulation in living materials requires external control of the activity of the living components, in order to achieve desired functions and performance. As a first step, a light-activatable E. coli-based system that can be externally triggered to interact with mammalian cells has been genetically engineered as an active component for developing optoregulated living-biomaterials. This has been achieved by combining optogenetic activation of gene expression using a photo-activatable inducer molecule and bacterial surface display technology to present an integrin-specific miniprotein on the outer membrane of an endotoxin-free E. coli strain. The bacteria are immobilized on surfaces and in situ light-activation of the E. coli results in mammalian cells specifically responding to them. Possible delivery of a fluorescent protein from the bacteria to the mammalian cells when they are interacting is also observed, indicating the potential of such a bacterial material to deliver complex cargo to cells in a targeted manner.


SFB1027 collective research center, EU Horizon 2020 FET PROACTIVE 731957 (MECHANO-CONTROL)


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Email Address(es) for Other Author(s)


INM - Leibniz Institute for New Materials



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Declaration of Conflict of Interest

No conflict of interest to declare


Read the published paper

in Advanced Science