The bionano thematics explained

Genomic technologies are unlocking new reservoirs of hitherto unavailable biological raw data. Sequence data of proteins are of particular interest to the biomimetic engineering of performance materials. Technological capabilities have matured to such an extent that target proteins from any donor organism may be rapidly investigated in a cost-efficient, reproducible, and scalable research flow.

Building upon the technological foundation of DNA sequencing we describe how genomic information, decoded RNA molecules, and structural analysis of proteins interface to give a comprehensive view of structure-function relationships that govern material properties. Aided by computational and experimental techniques, genomic technologies provide a highly interdisciplinary toolkit that allows new biomaterials to be prototyped from biosynthesis to mechanical characterization in a matter of weeks. Thinking in terms of a unified solution space for biological and man-made materials liberates researchers, artists, and designers from an obsolete conceptual dichotomy between nature and technology.

We conclude by giving an outlook on how the exploration of biological sequence space enables the reverse-engineering of hierarchically structured biomaterials with customizable properties suitable for many real-world applications.

Further reading:
Flores, Claudio, and Danilo Flores. “Spinning Off Biomaterials from Nature’s Open-Source Code.” Arts Imagining Communities to Come, Guayaquil, Ecuador, 8-11 November 2021. Cumulus Association, 2023.


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