Will Biofabrication Change The Clothing Industry?

With the increase in the amount of technological progress, humanity has done on a daily basis, it was only a matter of time before we invented living breathing fabric! Yes, you heard right. Scientists have now invented a breathable fabric by incorporating microbes into the fabric itself. This has been incorporated into a workout suit which helps keep people cool when wearing. The suit itself looks very futuristic and pretty cool. Researchers from MIT have developed this new suit and incorporated microbial cells into the flaps on the back. This helps the suit to ventilate itself and is the perfect amalgamation of biological systems and an engineering marvel. Did you know this suit also comes with a pair of running shoes designed in the same way? Read on to find more.

Biofabrication in Fashion Industry using BioFabric cells

Newest fad in Bio Technology

The researchers at MIT took it upon themselves to create the latest fashion in sportswear that would also serve a practical purpose. Technological progress in clothing has brought us a long way. Most progress in clothing designs comes from sportswear which needs to be highly durable and practical. Swimwear is one of the most practical clothing out there which incorporate aerodynamic concepts into the clothing itself. This would, in theory, reduce an athlete’s drag through the water, letting them swim faster. Keeping all of this in mind, these researchers at MIT have come up with a suit which is made up of living microbial cells. It gives a whole new meaning to the words sweat-free clothing. This suit is also very breathable enabling athlete’s to work out more efficiently. As mentioned earlier, the suit comes with a pair of shoes incorporated with the same technology.

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How Biofabrication works

Scientists have already tested out the suit and have published their research in the journal Science Advances. The researchers said, “We propose to use genetically tractable microbial cells to create multifunctional, moisture-responsive interfaces”, adding, “We hypothesized that microbial cells can be used as functional building blocks for constructing moisture-responsive materials.”

The microbial cells used in the suit are a strain of non-pathogenic E.Coli which is then printed onto latex sheets. These latex sheets are designed into the suit with flaps on the back which are about the size of a finger. The way it works is that the microbial cells react to the changes in humidity and temperature. They expand when the body is sweating and shrink when it cools down. This, in turn, makes the flaps open and close in response to the humidity. However, there is no present danger as these microbes are incredibly safe and do not cause complications even if consumed accidentally.

Biofabrication in Fashion Industry using BioFabric cells

The future of Biofabrication in Fashion Industry

The process of incorporating living organisms into clothing is known as bio-fabrication and it looks like it may catch on. Right now, the self-ventilating suit is the epitome of progress in bio-fabrication but it doesn’t end here. Xuanhe Zhao who was also a member of the study says, “This work is an example of harnessing the power of biology to fashion design new materials and devices and achieve new functions.” He also says, “We believe this new field of ‘living’ materials and devices will find important applications at the interface between engineering and biological systems.”

Bio-fabrication opens up a lot of doors of innovation in the practical fashion circles. Future biofabricated clothes may include clothes which incorporate bio-luminescence for reflecting light in the dark. and solve the body odour. Incorporating Gym clothing with microbes releases fresh smelling odor after an intense workout at the gym. The possibilities with biofabrication are endless and we are only just getting started.

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