Lab grown leather, the future of Textiles

Published: September 11, 2020
Author: santosh17dec

Think of a lab grown natural fibre, well it may seem a bit farfetched! But in this Nano-age scientists have successfully made a lab grown leather, and the day is not too far when all fibres will be prepared in laboratory

The first thing that crosses our mind when we think of leather is animal slaughter. Thus the lab grown leather fits perfectly in the picture as an alternative. The company MODERN MEADOWS (founded in 2011) has produced the world’s first bio-fabricated leather made from lab grown collagen

Bio-fabrication is production of complex living and non-living biological products from raw material from living cells, molecules. It is often termed as 3D-printing. It has a wide range of application in modern medical field, Tissue engineering as it is the process used in production of human body parts, tissues, organs artificially using cells, fibres and other such components as raw material. These organs can be used to replace body parts or injured tissues, create artificial skin, etc.
This Bio-fabrication of leather is carried out by:

  • Taking a pair of DNA, and then replacing particular strands according to the required quality of collagen. Then the cells are made to multiply under favorable conditions.
  • These cells produces collagens and other proteins, this collagen forms triple helix collagen molecules finally forms fibrils.
  •  This fibrils are nano fibres which joins to form bundles called fibres
  •  These fibres are arranged in required manner to form the final material(Bio-fabricated leather)
  •  Then this bio-leathers are tanned and finished

With the recent works on biofabrication, it has taken the textile
field with revolution. One should expect a wave of “smart textile materials” in the times to come. In a recent paper, appearing in journal of science(Plants and Animals, Technology), a team of researchers from Germany, Israel and Austria claims to have biofabricated a “functionalized cotton” that glows under fluorescent light by feeding cotton plants by modified version of sugar(doi:10.1126/science.aap9640). The smart textiles are future of textile industries as well as next wardrobe stapes.

by Sayak Nandi
Information links: www.modernmeadow.com/our-technology/

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