Biofabrication – growing material using microorganisms – more precisely bacteria and yeast.
Who does exactly know what Biofabrication is? It´s originally a biomedical definition. However, now it is also used to describe processes where biological organisms are harnessed for the manufacture of material whose normal production harms nature.
At the DLDSummer conference 2015 in Munich three pioneers in the field of Biofabrication presented their innovative approaches to save animals and to protect nature.
Would you try a meat-free Hamburger consisting of muscle fibres? You should give it a try as it tastes neutral and is quite healthy in comparison to its meaty colleagues. The secret behind that meat-free Hamburger, which has been presented in 2013 the first time, is nothing more than a couple of stem cells derived from mammalian muscle tissue. These cells were triggered to proliferate into muscle tissue Peter Verstrate from Cultured Beef explains. The whole process takes about 3-4 weeks and is an innovative alternative to produce meat without having to kill animals.
A similar idea is persued by the company Modern Meadow which aims at developing cultured products of the highest quality, as Modern Meadow Creative Director Suzanne Lee points out. Modern Meadow is focused on exploring new ways to create sustainable animal materials like leather for example. The process of creating leather by making use of bacteria is similar to the creation of meat. Here also stems cells play the key role with the only difference that they are derived from skin tissue instead of muscle tissue. So, perhaps in the future one could wear leather bags or shoes without having a bad conscience about the animal’s fate. Sounds great, right?
Growing meat and leather sounds reasonable to some extent, but growing bricks? This is possible, too!
The company bioMASON has developed a technology using microorganisms to grow „biocement“ based construction materials. The biocement can be used as a green alternative, as the fuels used for the conventional brick production are a major cause for environmental pollution. Therefore, bioMASON enables enormous savings in energy costs and a reduction of carbon emissions. But how does this technology work? Ginger Krieg Dosier – CEO of bioMASON – explains that the main ingredients are only the following: bacteria + sand + aqueous solution. To sum it up: It is an ingenious fermentation process!
Learn more about these highly inventive biofabrication technologies: