Research teams use bio-derived molecules to develop military technology as part of the DARPA program


The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has grown to five research teams from three technology service branches such as adhesives and polymers with potential military applications that have been developed using molecules produced biologically as part of the component 1000 Molecules from DARPA’s Living Foundries program.

A team from the Naval Air Warfare Center’s weapons division worked with Zymergen and Amyris to convert precursor molecules into high-performance composites, thermostable polymers and other materials with combat applications, DARPA said Wednesday.

“Through Living Foundries, DARPA has transformed synthetic bioproduction into a predictable engineering practice supporting a wide range of national security goals,” said Anne Cheever, Living Foundries Program Manager.

A research team from the DEVCOM Army Research Laboratory has developed adhesives using molecules produced biologically from Amyris and Zymergen.

“These unique compounds have potential for use in durable adhesives for armor and other structural land vehicle applications and high performance composites for aircraft and missile applications,” said John La Scala, business leader. manufacturing science and technology at DEVCOM ARL.

Two teams from the French Air Force Research Laboratory also participated in the 1000 Molecules program. One of these teams used Zymergen’s bio-derived molecules to develop laser eye protection goggles.


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