To achieve our goal, we bring together two emerging technologies:
Synthetic biology: to equip the cells with sensing, communication, and decision making capabilities. Gene networks (circuits) with desired function are designed, built, and insert them into living cells.
Micron-scale robotics: to optimize the formation of patterns by affecting communication and / or moving cells and beads. Micro-scale robots are actuated using global / local bio-compatible magnetic fields, with / without magnetic levitation. Additional control is provided through opto-genetic triggering of gene circuits.
Here is a video describing our technique.