SJET @ MIT <<<

Autonomous Mass Assembly: UCSD Calit2 Gallery, 2013

This project investigates chiral self-assembly with many parts in order to explore the aggregate behavior of simultaneous assembly and self-selection. Roughly 240 pieces are agitated stochastically to self-assemble closed dodecahedral molecular structures based on the polio virus capsid. Patterns of attraction are designed within each part to specify chemical complementarity and chirality  (right and left-handedness). Over time and with the right amount of energy, precise structures emerge complete and self-sorted. This continual process shows the various stages of assembly from independent parts to a mixture of assembled parts, then a bath of fully assembled structures and finally with additional energy input broken again into autonomous pieces. This work points towards a future of both tangible educational tools for non-intuitive scientific phenomena as well as new possibilities for industrial-scaleassembly applications.

A collaboration between:
Skylar Tibbits, Self-Assembly Lab, MIT 
Arthur Olson, Molecular Graphics Lab, The Scripps Research Institute

Project Team:
Carrie McKnelly and Adam Gardner

Many thanks to Jordan Crandall, Trish Stone and Benjamin Bratton for the generous invitation.