Helion (Woven Sunlight): a new paradigm in BioTextiles?

Cyanobacterium screening. Six species of cyanobacteria were investigated for BioMaterial production. Only Oscillatoria animalis produced the desired material.

Cyanobacterium screening. Six species of cyanobacteria were investigated for BioMaterial production. Only Oscillatoria animalis produced the desired material.

The Helion Dress, conjured from sunlight and air

The Helion Dress, conjured from sunlight and air

The Helion Dress, conjured from sunlight and air

The Helion Dress, conjured from sunlight and air

The Helion Dress, conjured from sunlight and air

The Helion Dress, conjured from sunlight and air

The Helion Dress, conjured from sunlight and air

The Helion Dress, conjured from sunlight and air

 

This little “dress” has been conjured from just thin air and sunlight.  Various groups are investigating the use of bacterially derived materials for BioDesign, and most notably, the production of bacterial cellulose using Gluconoacetobacter xylinus or Kombucha . The production of these materials, however, relies on the provision of some feedstock for the bacteria, usually in the form of refined sugar,  the production of which is energy intensive.  Here scientists at C-MOULD have grown a small dress using the  cyanobacterium  Oscillatoria animalis,  sunlight and air.

Cyanobacteria are aquatic and photosynthetic bacteria that have been hugely important in shaping the course of evolution and the content of the Earth’s atmosphere, but here one has been put to use to assimilate sunlight and carbon dioxide to produce a unique and sustainable BioMaterial.

This is a first test on a small scale but more larger scale tests are planned.

2 thoughts on “Helion (Woven Sunlight): a new paradigm in BioTextiles?

  1. Hi Simon,

    This is great! Thank you for posting. Is the material cellulose, just like acetobacter xylinum produces? Have you done this with the organism as is, without any genetic engineering?

    So nice – I am curious about how this particular bacterium produces the material. Looking for some info online, but haven’t found any good text yet. I am a creative researcher and engineer – one area of interest for me is the use of living organisms for the production of materials so… 🙂

    Cheers,
    Corrie

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