Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University, USA
Biological cells embedded suits that adapt to changes in moisture have been designed. Researchers at Cambridge, USA-based Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created breathable workout suit with flaps for better moisture control. The interesting feature is that the flaps are lined up with live biological cells that shrink and enlarge with the changes in the environmental humidity.
Additional product with similar technology is a sport shoe, which has been designed by the researchers. The cells used can be designed using genetic engineering and are safe, according to the researchers. The suits can be functionalized to enable them to be color sensitive such as fluorescence and release pleasant odor when working out in the gym.
According to researchers led by Wen Wang, former research scientist at MIT’s Chemical Engineering, the cells are strong and can be coated on to fabrics. Common nonpathogenic E. coli strain has been used, which shrink and swell with variations in humidity. These were then cell printed onto natural rubber latex. The cell lined latex was used to develop flaps which were tailored to the workout suit.
The work was recently published in the journal Science Advances and involved true multidisciplinary expertise involving fashion design, mechanical, chemical and bio engineering disciplines. The team collaborated with New Balance Athletics.