Growing Macroscale, Modular Materials from Bacteria

Bioscientists at Rice University have introduced centimeter-scale, slime-like colonies of engineered bacteria that self-assemble from the bottom up. It can be programmed to soak up contaminants from the environment, among many possible applications.

“We’re making material from bacteria that acts like putty,” said Rice bioscientist , Caroline Ajo-Franklin. “One of the beautiful things about it is how easy it is to make, merely needing a little motion, a few nutrients and bacteria.”