Synthetic biology takes its cue from the multiplicity of natural materials and architectures whose combination enables vital functions that lead to the living world as we know it. We can benefit from its approaches and engineering principles to develop active systems as dynamic and responsive materials with emerging and programmable functionalities. Biomaterials and bioinspired systems have great potential not only to uncover fundamental mechanisms behind complex biological functions, but also to drive progress in various fields, including medicine and environmental science.
We focus our efforts on the analysis of beating structures such as cilia or flagella isolated from biological microswimmers and used to develop synthetic swimming transporter. By using a few biological building blocks from flagella we show how synthetic cilia can be reconstituted. Furthermore, we show that synthetic tissues and cells can be assembled also by using non-biological materials with the aim of engineer materials characterized by the properties of biological systems such as self-regeneration, reactiveness and self-organization.