Prototissues comprise free-standing 3D networks of interconnected protocell consortia that communicate and display synergistic functions. Significantly, they can be constructed from functional molecules and materials, providing unprecedented opportunities to design tissue-like architectures that can do more than simply mimic living tissues. They could function under extreme conditions and exhibit a wide range of mechanical properties and bio-inspired metabolic functions. In this perspective, I will start by describing recent advancements in the design and synthetic construction of prototissues. I will then discuss the next challenges and the future impact of this emerging research field, which is destined to find applications in the most diverse areas of science and technology, from biomedical science to environmental science, and soft robotics.

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