Core Technologies for ChemBioIT Roadmap: Shortlist
2. SPATIAL SELF-ORGANIZATION & SELF-ASSEMBLY
- Reaction Diffusion Systems and Chemical Pattern Formation
Reaction diffusion systems were an early contender for autonomous structure formation in chemistry (BZ reaction and earlier) and biology. Their importance for complex autonomous fabrication is being enhanced by deployment in microfluidic and multiphase systems and their coupling with genetic information.
- Multiphase Chemistry involving self-assembled mesoscale structures
Membranes, emulsions, nanoparticles, droplets and other multiphase container systems including morphological computation with and self-assembly of such structures provide a suite of techniques for bridging molecular to microscale autonomous fabrication including approaches involving protocells.
- Surface and interfacial chemical systems: including multilayer fabrication
Layer by layer deposition of structures for example has long been posited as an alternative genetic mechanism for information transfer and is being exploited in the fabrication of complex functional surfaces, including under electrochemical control.
- Iterative chemical processing systems with integrated separation and cleanup
An autonomous version of synthetic chemical reaction pathways requires the integration of separation processes to purify next reactants from complex product mixes. Lab on a chip integration is providing local mechanisms to approach this with increasing process autonomy, but the separation processes still need to be directed by molecular information.
- Computational and theoretical bounds for self-organization and -assembly
In formulating such processes, it is important to draw on theoretical understanding of any necessary tradeoffs for example between construction speed and fidelity, between adaptability and self-repair properties and reliability of function.