This diagram gives an overview of how our system works. Initially, B. subtilis are motile and are not producing biomaterials. If we want to construct an "I" shaped 3D bio-scaffold, we shine a 3D hologram of the correct wavelength (red is used as an arbitrary example here) onto the growth medium.
Bacteria will sense that light and start to produce a clutch molecule. The clutch disengages the flagella from the motor quite quickly, rendering the subtilis stationary. Coupled with the clutch is a gene for expression for biomaterial synthesis. Should any individuals stray from the correct area, the clutch should disengage and material synthesis should stop.
We hope to build up our bio-scaffold material pixel by pixel in the defined area - the basis of our 3D biofabrication process.