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Towards Artificial Living Materials

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Lucy Colwell.

Biological systems provide an inspiration for creating a new paradigm for materials synthesis. Imagine it were possible to create an inanimate material that could both perform some function, e.g. catalyze a set of reactions, and also self replicate. Changing the parameters governing such a system would allow the possibility of evolving materials with interesting properties by carrying out “mutation -selection” cycles on the functional outcomes. Although we are quite far from realizing such a vision in the laboratory, recent experimental advances in coating colloidal scale objects with specific glues (e.g. using complementary DNA strands) have suggested a set of theoretical models in which the possibilities of realizing these ideas can be explored in a controlled way. This talk will describe our ongoing efforts to explore these ideas using theory and simulation, and also small scale experiments.

This talk is part of the Theory - Chemistry Research Interest Group series.

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