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Sci Adv. 2017 May 19;3(5):e1601984. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1601984. eCollection 2017 May.

Harnessing the hygroscopic and biofluorescent behaviors of genetically tractable microbial cells to design biohybrid wearables.

Author information

1
Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
2
MIT Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
3
Department of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
4
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
5
Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
6
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117585, Singapore.
7
New Balance Athletics, 190 Merrimack Street, Lawrence, MA 01843, USA.

Abstract

Cells' biomechanical responses to external stimuli have been intensively studied but rarely implemented into devices that interact with the human body. We demonstrate that the hygroscopic and biofluorescent behaviors of living cells can be engineered to design biohybrid wearables, which give multifunctional responsiveness to human sweat. By depositing genetically tractable microbes on a humidity-inert material to form a heterogeneous multilayered structure, we obtained biohybrid films that can reversibly change shape and biofluorescence intensity within a few seconds in response to environmental humidity gradients. Experimental characterization and mechanical modeling of the film were performed to guide the design of a wearable running suit and a fluorescent shoe prototype with bio-flaps that dynamically modulates ventilation in synergy with the body's need for cooling.

KEYWORDS:

bio-design; bio-hybrid living actuator; biofluorescent behaviors; body heat and sweat control; genetically-tractable microbial cells; humidity-responsive materials; hygroscopic biomaterial pool; multi-functional wearable devices; ventilation modulation

PMID:
28560325
PMCID:
PMC5438213
DOI:
10.1126/sciadv.1601984
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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