British designer develops 3D-printed regenerative trainers


by CBR Staff Writer| 16 December 2013

Shamees Aden's protocell shoes could become real by 2050.

British designer and researcher Shamees Aden has developed a concept for 3D-printed shoes made from biological material so they don't wear out.

The new trainers would use protocells, which can be printed to the size of a user's foot, while responding to the pressure and movement of feet by offering more or less cushioning when required.

3D printed shoes

According to Aden, a protocell is a form of synthetic biology that blurs the gap between the non-living and living.

"Encouraging the emergence of life from lifeless liquid chemicals manufactured artificially in the laboratory could provide us the building blocks to create a new man-made nature," Aden said on her website.

Developed in collaboration with the protocell specialist Martin Hanczyc from the University of Southern Denmark, the new shoes are anticipated to be released no sooner than 2050.

Aden told design magazine Dezeen: "As you're running on different grounds and textures it's able to inflate or deflate depending on the pressure you put onto it and could help support you as a runner."

Aden also noted that once the run is over, the shoes have to be placed in protocell liquid-filled jars, which would keep the living organisms strong.

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