The project examines the fundamental biochemical and structural properties that are required to preserve and manage microbial activity in new materials. The subject of study is bioluminescent bacteria, which have a symbiotic relationship with numerous marine organisms. Our research focuses on Euprymna scolopes, the Hawaiian bobtail squid. The squid breeds the bioluminescent bacteria Aliivibrio fischeri in its light organ to hide its own shadow at night. The process involves systematic selection and cultivation, as well as the control of quorum-sensing mechanisms within the A. fischeri population. Our aim is to transfer our findings to various contexts and materials in order to embed living microorganisms – above and beyond luminescent bacteria – in products. We aspire to generate active microbial materials that can be processed with manufacturing techniques such as 3D printing and electrospinning.
The project is part of the “Symbiotic Subjects – Beneficiary Relations and Interactions”research complex in BioLab. It examines the changing human-nature relationship and is based on the following questions: Can we learn from symbiotic systems? Can we consider ourselves one?