Biohybrid Devices: Prototyping Interactive Devices with Growable Materials

Nicolae, Madalina and Roussel, Vivien and Koelle, Marion and Huron, Samuel and Steimle, Jürgen and Teyssier, Marc
Proceedings of the 36th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology
Living bio-materials are increasingly used in HCI for fabricating objects by growing. However, how to integrate electronics to make these objects interactive still needs to be clarified. This paper presents an exploration of the fabrication design space of Biohybrid Interactive Devices, a class of interactive devices fabricated by merging electronic components and living organisms. From the exploration of this space using bacterial cellulose, we outline a fabrication framework centered on the biomaterials‘ life cycle phases. We introduce a set of novel fabrication techniques for embedding conductive elements, sensors, and output components through biological (e.g. bio-fabrication and bio-assembling) and digital processes. We demonstrate the combinatory aspect of the framework by realizing three tangible, wearable, and shape-changing interfaces. Finally, we discuss the sustainability of our approach, its limitations, and the implications for bio-hybrid systems in HCI.
Association for Computing Machinery
UIST '23