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Opportunity at U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC)

Bio-inspired Optical and Spectral Materials


Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, Life Sciences, Medical Sciences, & Behavioral Sciences

RO# Location
11.01.04.B0034 Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 210105423


Name E-mail Phone
Emanuel, Peter A. 410.436.5562


Synthetic biology has made significant strides in developing defined gene pathways and logic circuits that can direct structural components within bacterial and mammalian cells. Genetic parts that are ordered and controlled allow for the creation of scalable and tunable nano-particles which can be contained within a cell, displayed on the cellular surface, or exuded into the media for harvest and purification. Work at several labs has demonstrated the creation of particles that incorporate silica, iron, copper, and melanin and these particles have demonstrated different optical and spectral properties, as well as the capability to be scaled up in a cost effective manner. As our ability to assemble genetically driven particles expands, our scientists can begin to drive the creation of tailor made materials that have varying dimensions allowing aspect ratios that can contribute to obscuration across a wide range of spectra. Working in collaboration with obscuration scientists the goal of this effort would be to use biotechnology to create biologically based obscurant materials. These materials would selectively block discrete spectra used by weapons targeting systems in such a way as to create a one way window in which allied forces can see out and lock weapons but that enemy forces are blocked in sensing and tracking friendly forces. Selective obscuration requires exquisite control of the aspect ratios of materials, as well as infusing the nano-materials with conductive and absorptive properties. Current manufacturing techniques are challenged to exert the level of control at the molecular level that living systems can do if directed at the genetic level. The Associate would work with of a consortium of multi-disciplinary scientists that work collaboratively to develop materials with unique spectral and optical properties, or to use synthetic biology to create raw feed stock materials for difficult to synthesize compounds or those requiring ordered assembly and consistent structural dimensions/properties.


Synthetic biology; Bio-inspired materials; Additive manufacturing; Obscuration; Biotechnology; Microbiology; Spectroscopy;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants
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