Thin Film Biofabrication for Integrated Bio-electronics
This project integrates advances in biotechnology and microelectronics by developing generic, biologically-based thin film fabrication methods to incorporate biological function into electronics. Thin hydrogel films will be triggered to self-assemble in response to locally-imposed electrical signals. The PIs propose methods to incorporate small molecules, proteins, and cells into the hydrogel films, and will focus on understanding how fabrication conditions control the structure-property-function relations. A multilayer thin film system is proposed that will allow communication between the biology and the electronics. A collaboration with industrial partners will accelerate the incorporation of biology into materials science. The PIs also propose to integrate the activities within existing University partnerships with Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Science and Technology. Because they provide the metrology and regulatory guidelines, these agencies will be integral to the speed that biologically-based materials are introduced into the marketplace. These partnerships will assist in accelerating translation and also in providing meaningful externships for students.