May 23, 2017 09:31 AM EDT
E. Coli bacteria always get a bad rap and all for a good reason. It has caused a lot of intestinal infection, some of which are deadly. However, a group of MIT researchers is putting these deadly bacteria to good use which could also change how people see it.
Dr. Wen Wang, a biotech researcher and the lead author of the study, and a team of MIT researchers have created workout clothes lined with E.coli cells. They were able to do this by utilizing bioprinting to sandwiching small portions of latex with the microbes from top to bottom.
The result is a kind of fabric that responds to the skin moisture allowing better air flow to the body to remove the moisture from the skin. Wang further explained that the fabric shrinks to fit when the body is dry and it loosens to become bigger when the wearer begins to sweat. The fabric creates little vents so that air can flow much better to make the fabric breathe better.
The researchers tested the durability of the fabric by running it through 100 wet and dry conditions and the quality of the material remained in top shape. However, Wang said they need to test it further since workout clothes should be much stronger and able to withstand even the most high-impact workout.
Aside from workout clothes, the team explored many real-life moisture-related applications for the technology. These applications can go beyond the clothes but in everyday gadgets around the home as well.
For example, they have experimented it with a lampshade that responds to the heat of the bulb, a toy that changes its shape, and a tea bag with cells that shows if the tea is ready.
The paper is published in the journal Science Advances.
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