NYU Gallatin 2012 iGEM Team
Gen2Seat began as a vision; a vision of fully formed seats and chairs emerging from giant vats of colorful bioengineered bacterial cellulose. Acetobacter naturally produces mats of cellulose that can be used for a variety of purposes. We wanted to create a broader spectrum of materials, so we altered the properties of the cellulose mats by engineering Acetobacter to express enzymes that charge N-acetyl glucosamine, a subunit of chitin, with UDP which facilitates its uptake by cellulose synthetase. The result is a chitin-cellulose copolymer which may have unique properties. We have demonstrated its potential for use in modern architectural design, and plan to engineer other properties such as color, scent, etc. into the celluose as next steps.
Creating functional furniture out of completely organic materials takes creativity, flare, and a lot of awesome tools. See the conception of a bio-composite chair design and the novel fabrication methods necessary to produce it.