17 August 2016
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has launched the Engineering Living Materials (ELM) programme with a vision to create building materials that grow on-site, tech website, Futurism, reports.
Yes, you read that right; building materials that would grow on your land are in the works.
DARPA is looking to develop building materials that would grow on-site, repair themselves, and even adapt to the environment, ELM programme manager, Justin Gallivan, said in a statement.
“The vision of the ELM programme is to grow materials on demand where they are needed.
“Imagine that instead of shipping finished materials, we can ship precursors and rapidly grow them on site using local resources,” he stated.
ELM technology will be based on already existing technology like 3D-printing. With great strides being made in 3D-printing, finished products are already being built from scratch and these products have even transitioned into living tissues.
ELM hopes to combine 3D-printing to create non-living scaffolds that support living tissues and engineered cells.
The end goal is that these scaffolds are no longer needed, and biological cells can be genetically engineered to have these structural properties.