Living organisms constantly maintain their structural and biochemical integrity by the critical means of response, healing, and regeneration. Inanimate objects, on the other hand, are axiomatically considered incapable of responding to damage and healing it, leading to the profound negative environmental impact of their continuous manufacturing and trashing. Objects with such biological properties would be a significant step towards sustainable technology. In this work we present a feasible strategy for driving regeneration in fabric by means of integration with a bacterial biofilm to obtain a symbiotic-like hybrid - the fabric provides structural framework to the biofilm and supports its growth, whereas the biofilm responds to mechanical tear by synthesizing a silk protein engineered to self-assemble upon secretion from the cells. We propose the term crossbiosis to describe this and other hybrid systems combining organism and object. Our strategy could be implemented in other systems and drive sensing of integrity and response by regeneration in other materials as well.
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