MIT used bacteria to create a self-ventilating workout shirt. What’s more, the system works whether the bacteria are alive (as in growing and dividing actively) or not, according to Wang.
But what worked best for creating the vented wearable was coating latex on both sides with a type of bacteria called B. subtilis.
One such configuration involved just two layers: bacteria on one side, and latex on the other.
But researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created a prototype of a wearable that vents itself automatically in response to sweat—and it does so using bacteria.
Hannah Cohen / MITMany rain jackets have zippers at the armpits that, when opened, let out perspiration and funk that would otherwise stay trapped inside.
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MIT researchers use bacteria to create workout clothes that cool the sweaty body
“We can combine our cells with genetic tools to introduce other functionalities into these living cells,” Wang said.
The bioLogic shirt with flaps open, left, and closed.
By adding bacteria to workout clothes in a project dubbed bioLogic, they created a “breathable workout suit with ventilating flaps that open and close in response to an athlete’s body heat and sweat,” according to an MIT news release.
In the case of the bioLogic shirt, that moisture comes in the form of sweat.
Details about both the shoes and the workout clothes were recently published in the journal Science Advances.
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