3D-Printed ‘Living Material’ Could Clean Up Contaminated Water
September 5, 2023 – Researchers at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) have developed a new type of material that could offer a sustainable and eco-friendly solution to clean pollutants from water.
Dubbed an ‘engineered living material,’ it is a 3D-printed structure made of a seaweed-based polymer combined with bacteria that have been genetically engineered to produce an enzyme that transforms various organic pollutants into benign molecules. The bacteria were also engineered to self-destruct in the presence of a molecule called theophylline, which is often found in tea and chocolate. This offers a way to eliminate them after they have done their job.
The researchers describe the new decontaminating material in a paper published in the journal Nature Communications.
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