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Biomaterial created from bacterial fermentation

Swatches | August 1, 2023 | By:

Textile threads are used in a similar way to rebar in concrete in the biomaterial.

Biotechnology company Modern Synthesis has developed a biomaterial from bacterial fermentation that can be used to create a low-carbon alternative to traditional clothing fabrics. The biomaterial was developed in the company’s London, England, lab by growing nanocellulose (a lightweight material produced by bacteria) on a framework of thread. 

Nanocellulose fibers, which are very small, are eight times stronger than steel and stiffer than Kevlar®, according to the company. The nanocellulose creates a material that looks similar to nylon, ripstop or a coated textile. 

“We’re able to create this new material that is partially a traditional textile and partially a biofilm—a hybrid, nonwoven composite material that is really fundamentally different from anything else that exists at the moment,” company co-founder Jen Keane says.

The company expects that the biomaterial could become a versatile alternative to traditional textiles, as it can be dyed and given different coatings. Photo: Modern Synthesis

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