Fat as Soft Architecture: The Spontaneous Transformation of Lipids into Organic Microstructures with Predefined Biophysical Properties

  • Juan M. CastroEmail author
  • Taro Toyota
  • Hideo Iwasaki
Part of the Mathematics for Industry book series (MFI, volume 9)


Over millions of years, nature developed an organic membrane to shelter materials choosing a versatile class of molecules, the lipids. This is a transdisciplinary investigation—within the fields of media art and biochemistry—that explores the potential of lipids, self-assembly processes and artificial membranes upon creative practice. We are introducing organic microstructures that were grown using fats and technology based on lipid bilayers. By influencing the spontaneous morphogenesis of lipids into boundary structures it was possible to create soft architectures with unique patterns. This research wants to capitalize on the relevance of lipid molecules as unique media for artistic expression, concerned not only with the synthesis of artificial cells, but also with material principles based on self-organization and molecular interactions.


Artificial membrane Tubular structures Soft architecture Biomedia art 



This investigation has been developed at the metaPhorest platform (Iwasaki Lab, Waseda University) for biological and bioesthetic studies, in tight collaboration with the Toyota group (Tokyo University) for theoretical and analytical investigations. We thank the members of both laboratories for technical suggestions, valuable comments, and continuous supports. The research described has been generously supported in part by Grants-in-Aid from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (2301002 to J. M. C. and 22520150 to H. I.) and the Waseda University Grant for Special Research Projects (2010A-503) to H. I.


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory for Molecular Cell Network and Biomedia Art, Department of Electrical Engineering and BiosciencesWaseda UniversityShinjukuJapan
  2. 2.Department of Basic Science, Graduate School of Arts and SciencesThe University of TokyoMeguroJapan

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