ISSN: 1477965X
First published in 2003
3 issues per volume
Volume 7 Issue 2
Cover Date: November 2009
Protocells as smart agents for architectural design
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Authors:  Martin M. Hanczyc And  Takashi Ikegami 
DOI: 10.1386/tear.7.2.117/1

Keywords
protocell, chemical computing, smart chemical agents, chemotaxis, living technology

Abstract
Simple chemical agents with lifelike properties can be termed a ‘protocell’, meaning the earliest form of a natural living cell. These agents are not necessarily alive but are examples of living technology, namely technology that possesses lifelike qualities. Given that the protocell can respond to environmental cues with directional and controlled movement it can be thought of as being able to make decisions whilst navigating through a complex environment. In this way a mobile protocell agent can be considered to exhibit a form of computation. The development of ‘smart’ protocell agents can be used as experimental model systems for the investigation of abstracted living processes that can subsequently be physically and chemically manipulated to produce architectural design outcomes.
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