It’s 2017 and our childhood dreams of having flying cars and hover boards (like Silver Surfer style, not the wheeled) have still not been met. There are some cool things that have come about however, one of them being synthetic bio-skin. Sounds strange right? It is. Let me explain.
It all started with bacteria discovered by a Japanese Samurai about a thousand years ago. This bacteria, Bacillus Subtilis natto, was used primarily for Japanese dishes up until the mad scientists at MIT Media Lab got wind of it and used it to make a new bio-responsive material called bioLogic.
Basically, this type of bacteria reacts well with body heat and sweat. That means that the cells are animate and can change their physical makeup along with your body. The MIT group has created a biohybrid material where they grow cells in the lab, print the cells with a bio-printer (yes, that exists), and then integrate them into a textile material leaving you with a living piece of clothing that responds to your body.
Enter New Balance
New Balance had some ideas to put this new bio material to use and teamed up with MIT Media Lab. They designed a version of clothing that uses the biosynthetic material to create incredibly efficient and flexible athletic wear. In the video below, the futuristic New Balance outfits use the bio-responsive material for ventilation.
This collaboration is just the beginning of what this material could be used for. There have been no official statements made about commercial release of bio-skin clothing, but the future looks pretty promising.