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2022: Engineered Living Materials for Indoor Air Quality Control

Innovative materials that can sense, process, and respond to environmental stimuli will revolutionize how the built environment can improve sustainability and human health. Researchers aim to develop a fundamentally new approach to controlling the built environment by creating a class of programmable, yeast-based living materials that can achieve real-time diagnosis and improve ambient air quality.

The highly interdisciplinary research champions a new science for programming microbial survival and function, one that combines genotype and phenotype engineering. The new concept, combined with the fabrication technique of initiated Chemical Vapor Deposition (iCVD), will lead to novel materials and devices, such as self-healing tiles that break down toxic chemicals in indoor environments. Ultimately, researchers expect to achieve sustainability by enabling low-cost autonomous indoor air quality control that does not require grid integration.

Investigators: Rong Yang, Sijin Li, Meredith Silberstein, Sarah Kreps, and Jenny Sabin

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