METABOLIC PROGRAMMABLE APPS AS PART OF LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEMS
AgroSpace-MELiSSA workshop, Rome, 17 May 2018
Title: LIVING ARCHITECTURE: METABOLIC PROGRAMMABLE APPS AS PART OF LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEMS (Session: Modelling and Systems)
Abstract: LIVING ARCHITECTURE: METABOLIC PROGRAMMABLE APPS AS PART OF LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEMS Dr. Barbara Imhof, Molly Hogle, Waltraut Hoheneder, LIQUIFER Systems Group Prof. Dr. Rachel Armstrong, Simone Ferracina, University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Institute for Sustainability Prof. Ioannis Ieropoulos, Jiseon You, Lauren Wallis, Dr. Michail-Antisthenis Tsompanas, Bristol BioEnergy Centre (BBiC), Bristol Robotics Lab (BRL) Juan Nogales, José Garcia, Spanish National Research Council / Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC), The Biological Research Centre (CIBCSIC), Department of Environmental Biology Davide de Lucrezia, Dario Cecchi, Allesandro Filsetti, EXPLORA BIOTECH S.r.l. Martin Hanczyc, Ozan Kah, Nevena Radisavljevic, Grzegorz Pasternak, University of Trento / University Degli Studi di Trento, Centre for Integrative Biology The Living Architecture project builds an apparatus that structurally integrates biological processes into the built environment, and programs the processes to perform tasks essential in waste management. The design has built-in flexibility and adaptability and can be programmed to do different tasks. Tasks are largely defined by initial inputs to the system. Each waste product type (e.g. urine, grey water) has a general set of attributes that is characterized and then manipulated by and through carefully designed biological processes. A freestanding partition composed of modular bioreactor units will be demonstrated in May 2019 as part of EU-FET-OPEN project. Living Architecture, a system of three, collaboratively-working bioreactors, is developed as a single (local) architectural solution with the potential to disrupt the established system of centralized providers of energy (electricity, fuel, etc.) and water, and could eliminate the need for centrally-controlled and operated waste water treatment facilities. Using photobioreactors, microbial fuel cells (MFC) and synthetic microbial consortia (SMC) in a single set-up, the project demonstrates the transformation potential of turning household or spaceship waste (grey water and urine) into valuable resources by providing (through recovery) nutrients useful to agricultural production. In the near future, lots of developments will have being made in the realm of closed-loop systems. As one case study, we are using SHEE - Self-deployable Habitat for Extreme Environments, a project built through the Seventh European Framework Programme between 2013 and 2015. SHEE can be used as an extra-terrestrial mission and operation base and in extreme terrestrial environments, for example, in arctic or jungle regions where high-tech units are needed. Being sensitive to waste chemical nature and/or degree of illumination arrays of bioreactors and having closest-neighbours topology of connections the arrays of bioreactors can function as parallel bio-computing systems. We demonstrate that arrays of the reactors can be represented as cellular automata (mathematical machines with potentially unbounded memory) and cellular nonlinear networks and therefore are capable for implementation computational tasks usually executed on massively parallel processors. Further developments include implementation of key image analyses tasks, including contouring via lateral inhibition, and, potentially, learning with the bioreactor networks. The presentation will display the components of the Living Architecture hardware and software and will demonstrate how this system can be used for different environments, either terrestrial or off-planet. The authors regard this contribution in complementation of the established MELiSSA systems and for discussion in a broader context.