We designed a system for both strengthening cellulose and attaching biosensors and other biological cells to cellulose surfaces.
Increasingly in recent years, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (also known as RPAS – Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems – and UAS – Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems) have transitioned from being rare sightings to becoming a staple of the 21st century high-tech mainstream. Surveillance and military uses aside, UAVs have profound potential in areas ranging from medicinal and commercial delivery to agricultural monitoring and even space exploration; however, much of their potential remains untapped. The Stanford-Brown-Spelman iGEM team reached out to a number of scientists in a wide array of fields in regards to the future of UAVs, in search for the next-step looming advancement in the industry. The feedback pointed in a clear direction – the revolutionary creation of a biological UAV.
Our team took upon ourselves this task in order to create a biodegradable UAV that would push on the boundaries of science while remaining applicable and useful to the world. We started by designing molds which were fabricated to a fungal mycelial "body" that was then coated with bacterial generated microbial cellulose to create a robust, durable foundation, and then re-engineered the “Amberless Hell Cell” concept to endow our UAV with pandemonium-resistant super-cells, all the while setting new bioethical standards through our gene-transfer preventative design. Humbled, we turned to nature to study and employ an ingenious method by which to waterproof our UAV, and then developed a biological process for degrading our UAV over a time period of our choosing. To extend the capabilities of this winged-Goliath, our team constructed Cellulose Cross-Linkers to further strengthen the cellulose foundation and allow biosensors to be attached to the surface of our UAV.
While the above projects come together to lay a new path for the future of UAVs, they also expand the horizon in all other areas of synthetic biology and bioengineering with their versatile, far-ranging applications. Certainly, there is no denying that UAVs have been stigmatized for their combative purposes, but the SBS iGEM team members have worked hard to help showcase the important role that UAVs serve in all other areas of science and their benefits to humanitarian purposes. Go ahead and take a look around our Wiki, checkout our projects, our twenty biobricks, and our human practices efforts, and please feel free to stop any of us to ask questions or to hear more about our projects. Thank you and welcome to the SBS 2014 iGEM Wiki!