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microbial 3D printer

oltaic film system to create an adaptive
   energy-sensing algae cell, harnessing this microorganism’s ability to harvest solar energy and generate electricity via the photosynthesis process. The cell panel rotates to agitate the algae and generates electricity through a network of conductive anode and cathode meshes with a carbon catalyst to transfer electrons from the cell surface to the electrode that harvests them. The structure lays out each panel in such a way as to maximize solar exposure without sun-bleaching the biofilms. Through connected tubing within the transparent structure, the power output from this setup is able to sense the energy output and monitor different conditions in which algae can be energy generating

BioCatalytic Cell was developed during a Biophotovoltaic seminar at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) at the Master in Advanced Architecture program in 2016.


Project by: Thora H Arnardottir, Jessica Dias & Christopher Wong

Tutors: Chiara Farinea, Paolo Bombelli, Carmelo Zappulla & Maria Kuptsova.
Biology Support: Núria Conde Pueyo
Guest Advisor: Claudia Pasquero 

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​(2022) Arnardottir, T.H., Dade-Robertson, M., Zhang, M. & Loh, J. (2022) 'Living manufacture: Principles for a microbial 3D printer', in Structures and Architecture A Viable Urban Perspective?. 1st Edition. CRC Press. pp. 59–66.

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