Combining materials modeling with mathematical and musical tools, Buehler says, could provide a much faster way of designing new biosynthesized materials, replacing the trial-and-error approach that prevails today. Genetically engineering organisms to produce materials is a long, painstaking process, he says, but this work "has taught us a new approach, a fundamental lesson" in combining experiment, theory and simulation to speed up the discovery process.
Materials produced this way which can be done under environmentally benign, room-temperature conditions could lead to new building blocks for tissue engineering or other uses, Buehler says: scaffolds for replacement organs, skin, blood vessels, or even new materials for use in civil engineering.
It may be that the complex structures of music can reveal the underlying complex structures of biomaterials found in nature, Buehler says. "There might be an underlying structural expression in music that tells us more about the proteins that make up our bodies. After all, our organs including the brain are made from these building blocks, and humans' expression of music may inadvertently include more information that we are aware of."
"Nobody has tapped into this," he says, adding that with the breadth of his multidisciplinary team, "We could do this making better bio-inspired materials by using music, and using music to better understand biology."
|Contact: Sarah McDonnell|
Massachusetts Institute of Technology