Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022 - 33

quality of the algae and the robustness
of the bacterial cellulose; the
material is tough and resilient while
also eco-friendly, biodegradable, and
simple and scalable to produce. The
plant-like nature of the material means
it can use photosynthesis to " feed " itself
over periods of many weeks and it's
also able to be regenerated - a small
sample of the material can be grown
onsite to make more materials.
The characteristics of the material
make it an ideal candidate for a variety
of applications including new products
such as artificial leaves, photosynthetic
skins, or photosynthetic bio-garments.
Artificial leaves are materials that
mimic actual leaves in that they use sunlight
to convert water and carbon dioxide
- a major driver of climate change
- into oxygen and energy, much like
leaves during photosynthesis. The leaves
store energy in chemical form as sugars,
which can then be converted into fuels.
Artificial leaves therefore offer a way to
produce sustainable energy in places
where plants don't grow well including,
potentially, outer space colonies.
The artificial leaf materials can create
sustainable energy without needing to
use resources to produce parts of plants
- the stems and the roots - that need
resources but don't produce energy. The
material is only focused on the sustainable
production of energy. Another application
of the material would be photosynthetic
skins that could be used for
skin grafts. The oxygen generated would
help to kick-start healing of the damaged
are, or it might be able to carry out
light-activated wound healing.
Bio-garments made from algae would
address some of the negative environmental
effects of the current textile industry
in that they would be high-quality
fabrics sustainability produced and
completely biodegradable. They would
also work to purify the air by removing
carbon dioxide through photosynthesis
and would not need to be washed as often
as conventional garments, reducing
water usage. The materials can sustain
themselves over periods of weeks and
can be multiplied onsite, so they have
the potential to be long-lasting and able
to be shared.
For more information, contact Lindsey
Valich at lvalich@ur.rochester.edu.
An artist's illustration demonstrates how 3Dprinted
materials could be applied as durable, living
clothing. (Photo: Lizah van der Aart)
Tech Briefs, May 2022
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Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022

Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022 - Intro
Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022 - Sponsor
Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022 - Cov1
Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022 - Cov2
Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022 - 1
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Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022 - Cov3
Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022 - Cov4
Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022 - PIT-Cov1
Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022 - PIT-Cov2
Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022 - PIT-1
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Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022 - PIT-28
Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022 - PIT-Cov3
Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022 - PIT-Cov4
Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022 - BET-Cov1a
Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022 - BET-Cov1b
Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022 - BET-Cov1
Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022 - BET-Cov2
Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022 - BET-1
Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022 - BET-2
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Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022 - BET-23
Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022 - BET-24
Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022 - BET-25
Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022 - BET-26
Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022 - BET-27
Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022 - BET-Cov3
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