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Protocells as smart agents for architectural design

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Simple chemical agents with lifelike properties can be termed a protocell, meaning the earliest form of a natural living cell. These agents are not necessarily alive but are examples of living technology, namely technology that possesses lifelike qualities. Given that the protocell can respond to environmental cues with directional and controlled movement it can be thought of as being able to make decisions whilst navigating through a complex environment. In this way a mobile protocell agent can be considered to exhibit a form of computation. The development of smart protocell agents can be used as experimental model systems for the investigation of abstracted living processes that can subsequently be physically and chemically manipulated to produce architectural design outcomes.
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Keywords: chemical computing; chemotaxis; living technology; protocell; smart chemical agents

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Centre for Fundamental Living Technology (FLinT), Department of Physics and Chemistry, University of Southern Denmark. 2: The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo.

Publication date: 2009-11-01

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