Michael Jewett, the Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence, professor of chemical and biological engineering, and director of the Center for Synthetic Biology at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering, explained that the emerging process could help “create classes of materials and medicines that haven’t been synthesized before.”
The ARO is exploring the project with Northwestern University which, scientifically, is looking at biological polymers, such as DNA, to generate synthetic materials able to replicate biological functions.
“The ability to harness and adapt cellular machinery to produce non-biological polymers would, in essence, bring synthetic materials into the realm of biological functions.
Experts, scientists and researchers are involved in early experimental work to create high-performance materials by engineering “sequence-defined synthetic polymers with the precision of biology,” Dawanne Poree, program manager, polymer chemistry at the Army Research Office, explained to TNI.
The Army Research Office and Northwestern University are exploring basic research aimed at engineering synthetic materials which merge with or mirror actions of living biological organisms.