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Credit: Marc Roseboro

About the Platform

The NSF BioPACIFIC MIP (DMR-1933487) operates a one of a kind user facility dedicated to creating a nexus for synthetic biology and materials to revolutionize high-performance polymers. Users are uniquely able to elucidate biomaterial structure and function to achieve materials-by-design, construct new bio-derived functional monomers from living organisms, access novel sequence-specific materials (e.g. peptoids), synthesize stimuli-responsive “smart” biomaterials, scale-up biomaterial production, and incorporate state-of-the-art field-theoretic simulation and machine learning algorithms. The bulk of the platform activity is devoted to the design and development of unique automated materials synthesis and characterization capabilities with the realization that these tools address a major gap in the US mid-scale and large-scale instrumentation portfolio available to engineers and scientists in this country. In all cases, this platform is made possible by the unique and collective expertise of the BioPACIFIC faculty and staff. BioPACIFIC facilities are open to all US scientists via a reviewed User Proposal process.

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UC Santa Barbara 

The UCSB hub of the BioPACIFIC MIP enables users to complete the Design-Build-Test-Learn cycle for novel bio-derived polymers by providing access to advanced simulation tools for flexible, inverse design. Automated synthetic and flow chemistry equipment suites, coupled to a dedicated library of monomers, allows rapid structure-property determination via next-generation X-Ray scattering characterization and high-throughput micro-rheology. Additive manufacturing tools accommodate both user-designed and in-house building blocks to facilitate next-generation materials discovery and advanced constructs.

UC Los Angeles

The UCLA hub of the BioPACIFIC MIP enables users to accelerate the discovery and scale-up production of bio-derived building blocks and biopolymers using a robotic and automated Living Bioreactor system for gene assembly, amplification, transformation, strain growth, and metabolite analysis. A mineable data library of biosynthetic pathways is under development and will be made available to users. Users also have access to the BioPACIFIC MIP’s first of its kind Cryo-EM microcrystal electron diffraction (MicroED) system that provides accelerated 2D and 3D structure determination of small molecules, peptides/peptoids, and semi-crystalline polymers.

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The BioPACIFIC MIP is funded by an NSF cooperative agreement (DMR-1933487)