Woven SunLight: Light Directed Synthesis of a novel Cyanophyte BioMaterial.


The undirected and undifferentiated form of Helion 14. Free floating photosynthetic BioFibres



After just 30 minutes, the Helion 14 BioFibres have been directed to weave a square of BioMaterial



After removing the light stimulus and direction, I’ve allowed the square of Helion 14 to revert to its own chosen formation.

Did these 30 minutes just change the future of BioDesign forever?

Helion 14 is a unique Cyanophyte-based BioMaterial that can be fashioned from little more than sunlight and air. During its production it extracts carbon dioxide from the air, incorporates it into its very fabric,  and so it also acts as a carbon sink.

In this latest development, I can now,  from a formless and random mix of its microfibres,   direct its self-organisation/aggregation into any shape of my choice simply by using phototaxis.

This is very quick and dirty test in which I directed the Cyanophyte to make a square of self-woven BioMaterial in just 30 mins.

This is just the beginning, 3D forms next………


A response to Julian Melchiorri’s  synthetic biological leaf. These are photosynthetic biomaterials that incorporate Cyanophytes, auxotrophic photosynthetic bacteria. Unlike Melchiorri’s embedded chloroplasts, these materials contain robust and self replicating photosynthetic cells that survive in the matrix of the materials. Had I the time, I could cut these into leaf shapes.



mCLOUD: hybrid biominerals


We are all surrounded by our own unique cloud of bacteria that derives from our natural microbiota, that is the trillions of bacteria that live on and in us. With every movement or scratch, these bacteria simply float of us into the air.  In fact, just one person in a room adds 37 million bacteria to the air  in it every hour.

This is the  beginning of a new project that explores my own personal bacterial cloud (mCLOUD), the extent of its influence , and the content of its biological information, in the context of electronic and data-based Cloud sharing. If I’m continually leaking this biological information into my environments, where do I truly end? I’ve begun a series of experiments which will determine reach of my mCLOUD. One of my approaches is to carefully convert the biological information present in the genomes of the bacteria into crystals as a means of preserving it as an immortal glassy state. As the crystals begin to form, the biological information present in the bacterial DNA steers the process and thus generates unique hybrid biominerals. These are some examples that I’ve just made (below), and I’m stuck by their beauty and gem-like appearance, and imagining a new collection of microbiotic jewellery.