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Poster Pitch

Mimotype: Rapid Breakthrough Discoveries for Advanced Bio-Materials through Genomics-Based Biomimetics

Monday (16.03.2020)
17:22 - 17:25
Part of:

Starting around the year 2000 the high-throughput DNA sequencing revolution fundamentally changed the way scientists engage problems in genome evolution, human health and computational biology. Unexpectedly, from the very beginning genomics was poised to inform bio-materials research as well. Today, next-generation sequencing platforms allow the relatively cheap, fast and precise characterisation of genes and noncoding DNA regions of various model (e.g. mice and flies) and non-model organisms (e.g. cephalopods). Genomics and transcriptomics (RNA sequencing) can target whole organisms, specific tissues, individual cell-types, down to single molecules. “Mimotype” is an ongoing R&D project aiming at creating a comprehensive genomics-based workflow and database for biomimetic (molecular) design solutions. We are especially interested in the interface of bio-inspired design, molecular engineering at nano-scale, machine learning and genomics. A growing number of researchers are trying to establish computer-aided methods for structuring replicable design processes and facilitating breakthrough discoveries in bio-inspired engineering and technology. The craft of biomimetics increasingly relies on the utilisation of advanced computational tools provided by the biosciences such as genomics, proteomics and metabolomics. Nature’s patents – provided in the form of genome information – are open-source and can be easily queried for purposes of discovering, refining and designing advanced bio-materials. This presentation will introduce the “Mimotype” project, give a layout of the general systems architecture and provide an updated view on how genomics has been and is being applied to biomimetics – from mussel adhesives, luminescent crystalline proteins to autonomous soft robotics based on octopus synapses. The phase space of potential uses for genome-derived bio-materials is vast: neuromorphic computing, regenerative medicine, cosmetics, bio-photonics, (soft) robotics and hydrogels, natural armour and bio-plastics just to name a few. Functional genomics essentially allows us to reverse engineer the complexities of hierarchically-structured bio-materials and take advantage of their favourable properties for many real-world applications.

Claudio Flores Martinez
University of Hamburg