Harnessing the hygroscopic and biofluorescent behaviors of genetically tractable microbial cells to design biohybrid wearables

science, Volume 3, Issue 5, 2017, Pages 1601984-1601984.

Cited by: 39|Bibtex|Views34|DOI:https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.1601984
WOS SCIENCE
Other Links: pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov|academic.microsoft.com
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The garment used B. subtilis, which has the status of generally regarded as safe given by the U.S Food and Drug Administration

Abstract:

Cells’ biomechanical responses to external stimuli have been intensively studied but rarely implemented into devices that interact with the human body. We demonstrate that the hygroscopic and biofluorescent behaviors of living cells can be engineered to design biohybrid wearables, which give multifunctional responsiveness to human sweat. ...More

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Introduction
  • The basic units of life are cells, which can dynamically adjust their behaviors biochemically (1) or biomechanically (2) in response to signals indicating environmental change, such as nutrient levels (3), shear stress (4), and electrical pulses (5)
  • Among those stimuli, the moisture gradient is an intriguing factor, which can trigger shape transformation in plant due to mechanical amplification of moisture-induced strains in hygroscopic tissues [for example, pine cone scales (6) and wheat awns (7)].
  • Microbes are composed of a portfolio of singlecelled living organisms that can be genetically modified to acquire new functions and are amenable to production in large-scale bioreactors, but have not yet been fully exploited to create environment-responsive materials
Highlights
  • In nature, the basic units of life are cells, which can dynamically adjust their behaviors biochemically (1) or biomechanically (2) in response to signals indicating environmental change, such as nutrient levels (3), shear stress (4), and electrical pulses (5)
  • The garment used B. subtilis, which has the status of generally regarded as safe (GRAS) given by the U.S Food and Drug Administration
  • Active B. subtilis can even be found in food products, such as Japanese natto soybean food, which has been shown to provide various health benefits to consumers (31)
  • The shoes are covered by genetically modified E. coli, which does not have GRAS status, though it is a nonpathogenic strain and is commonly used in the laboratory
  • The use of E. coli is strictly limited to the prototype stage and will be replaced by genetically modified GRAS species or natural fluorescent microbes in the commercialization stage
  • MATERIALS AND METHODS Chemicals, materials, and cells Luria-Bertani (LB) medium, yeast extract–peptone-dextrose (YPD) medium, and agar were purchased from Becton Dickinson
Methods
  • Materials, and cells Luria-Bertani (LB) medium, yeast extract–peptone-dextrose (YPD) medium, and agar were purchased from Becton Dickinson.
  • All other chemicals and reagents were purchased from Sigma-Aldrich.
  • All other tools and materials were purchased from McMaster-Carr.
  • Coli strain “MG1655_DrecA_DendA_DE3,” harboring the plasmid “pET11a-eGFP-lacZ,” which was obtained by cloning eGFP (Sequence 1) and E.
  • Subtilis strain “(pLS19) wild-type isolate” was purchased from Bacillus Genetic Stock Center.
  • Erythropolis [ATCC (American Type Culture Collection) 53968] and P.
  • Nitroreducens HBP1 [DSMZ (German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures) 8897]
  • The authors used R. erythropolis [ATCC (American Type Culture Collection) 53968] and P. nitroreducens HBP1 [DSMZ (German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures) 8897]
Results
  • To prove that microbial cells can be used to create a hygroscopic structure that exhibits reversible shape transformation, the authors used the most common type of Escherichia coli cells to fabricate the biohybrid film.
  • Adhesion through hydrophobic interactions (23) in the absence of additional chemical modification
  • By microprinting these cells in parallel lines on the latex surface, a multifunctional biohybrid film was produced.
  • S4), the authors observed similar phenomena at the cellular level, where single cells swelled or shrank along all three axes in response to changes in humidity (Fig. 2, D to F)
  • This indicated that the bending effect of the tangible film was induced by the net force generated through the volume change of each individual cell
Conclusion
  • The authors harnessed the hygroscopic behavior of microbial cells, which provides them with a new perspective in using living materials for making moisture-responsive wearables that are multifunctional, interactive, and programmable.
  • By characterizing and simulating the shape change effects in both homogeneous and heterogeneous environments, the authors designed two functional biohybrid prototypes that contain self-reproductive and genetically tractable cellular materials.
  • These unique traits support the feasibility of scalable production of these functional materials for diverse applications.
  • An additional safeguard strategy to be explored in the future is to replace active cells with cellular components, such as proteins and nucleic acids, which have been shown in this study to have moistureresponsive properties
Summary
  • Introduction:

    The basic units of life are cells, which can dynamically adjust their behaviors biochemically (1) or biomechanically (2) in response to signals indicating environmental change, such as nutrient levels (3), shear stress (4), and electrical pulses (5)
  • Among those stimuli, the moisture gradient is an intriguing factor, which can trigger shape transformation in plant due to mechanical amplification of moisture-induced strains in hygroscopic tissues [for example, pine cone scales (6) and wheat awns (7)].
  • Microbes are composed of a portfolio of singlecelled living organisms that can be genetically modified to acquire new functions and are amenable to production in large-scale bioreactors, but have not yet been fully exploited to create environment-responsive materials
  • Methods:

    Materials, and cells Luria-Bertani (LB) medium, yeast extract–peptone-dextrose (YPD) medium, and agar were purchased from Becton Dickinson.
  • All other chemicals and reagents were purchased from Sigma-Aldrich.
  • All other tools and materials were purchased from McMaster-Carr.
  • Coli strain “MG1655_DrecA_DendA_DE3,” harboring the plasmid “pET11a-eGFP-lacZ,” which was obtained by cloning eGFP (Sequence 1) and E.
  • Subtilis strain “(pLS19) wild-type isolate” was purchased from Bacillus Genetic Stock Center.
  • Erythropolis [ATCC (American Type Culture Collection) 53968] and P.
  • Nitroreducens HBP1 [DSMZ (German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures) 8897]
  • The authors used R. erythropolis [ATCC (American Type Culture Collection) 53968] and P. nitroreducens HBP1 [DSMZ (German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures) 8897]
  • Results:

    To prove that microbial cells can be used to create a hygroscopic structure that exhibits reversible shape transformation, the authors used the most common type of Escherichia coli cells to fabricate the biohybrid film.
  • Adhesion through hydrophobic interactions (23) in the absence of additional chemical modification
  • By microprinting these cells in parallel lines on the latex surface, a multifunctional biohybrid film was produced.
  • S4), the authors observed similar phenomena at the cellular level, where single cells swelled or shrank along all three axes in response to changes in humidity (Fig. 2, D to F)
  • This indicated that the bending effect of the tangible film was induced by the net force generated through the volume change of each individual cell
  • Conclusion:

    The authors harnessed the hygroscopic behavior of microbial cells, which provides them with a new perspective in using living materials for making moisture-responsive wearables that are multifunctional, interactive, and programmable.
  • By characterizing and simulating the shape change effects in both homogeneous and heterogeneous environments, the authors designed two functional biohybrid prototypes that contain self-reproductive and genetically tractable cellular materials.
  • These unique traits support the feasibility of scalable production of these functional materials for diverse applications.
  • An additional safeguard strategy to be explored in the future is to replace active cells with cellular components, such as proteins and nucleic acids, which have been shown in this study to have moistureresponsive properties
Funding
  • Funding: This research was supported by MIT Media Lab and Singapore-MIT Alliance X.Z. acknowledges support from the Office of Naval Research (no
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