▸ Research Overview


Our research and design space focuses on dynamic multi-cell assemblies and patterns - how they come about naturally and how they can be programmed by us.




We take a combined bottom-up / top-down approach: (1) We utilize synthetic biology and biophysics to facilitate the understanding, engineering and programming of novel Multi-Cell Patterns and Forms, (2) we pioneered Interactive Bio-Technology’ (IBT) that enables humans to directly interact with and program living multi-cell assemblies in real-time.


As illustration of impact, (1) we developed optogenetic Biofilm Lithography and a Synthetic Cell-Cell Adhesion Toolbox that open the design space for true synthetic multi-cellularity, and (2) we developed realtime Biology Cloud Experimentation Labs that lower the access barriers to life-science experimentation for education and research.


Our research program is built upon an interdisciplinary approach that bridges diverse domains including synthetic biology, biophysics, cell motility, modeling and analytics, microfluidics, embedded systems, cloud lab architectures, computer science, (biotic) game design, and education.


It is our vision that micro-biological systems are as constructible, programmable, interactive, and useful as our personal electronic devices. Biological processes transcend electronic computation in many ways, e.g., they synthesize chemicals, generate active physical forms, and self-replicate - thereby promising entirely new applications to foster the human condition.