The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has asked industry to submit proposals for a program that aims to create new materials that exhibit the characteristics of living systems as well as the structural attributes of building materials.
DARPA said in a broad agency announcement published Friday on FedBizOpps the Engineered Living Materials program seeks to develop new tools and techniques that will work to facilitate the production of structural materials into cellular systems that would respond to the environment.
“Since the materials will be alive, they will be able to respond to changes in their environment and heal themselves in response to damage.“
Proposals for the program's first track are due Sept. 27 and offers for the second track will be accepted through Nov. 10, according to the BAA.
The ELM program's track 1 seeks to develop methods for the integration of living cells with scaffolding materials in order to create a hybrid material, while the initiative's track 2 aims to develop genetic engineering-based techniques to program structural properties into multicellular biological systems.
DARPA said it will hold a Proposers Day on Aug. 26 in Virginia to discuss the program with interested proposers.