In one of the start-ups Brooklyn specialists are busy creating artificial leather - the future of the animal material created on the principle of "Grown, not killed!".
According to the head of the company Modern Meadow Andras Forgacha such artificial skin can be seen on the market long before the artificial meat (which, by the way, scientists have learned how to grow in the laboratory). Most likely, this is due to the fact that people are quick to adopt new technology in clothes than on their own plates, in addition to food developed more stringent standards.
In addition, for manufacturers (eg, bags, clothing, car seats, etc.), the new technology could prove to be quite useful.
In recent years, the cost has increased significantly the skin, in addition there is now a marked imbalance of supply and demand, as more and more people with an average income can afford to buy leather goods.
According Forgacha, today the leather production process is messy and inefficient. In some cases, the animal may be killed only for the sake of the skin (the skin was initially sold as a byproduct of the animal slaughtered for meat).
Leather industry is quite polluting, especially in developing countries. In addition, a large amount of skin in the form of scraps and falls into the waste is discharged at the end of the manufacturing process.
For the growth of artificial skin in vitro skilled requires a small sample of tissue (e.g., skin biopsies taken from the ostrich, cow, crocodile, etc.). Further, experts are isolated and propagated by their cells, resulting in a leather fabric in sheet form.
The CEO noted that the experts under the force of skin to grow almost any animal. Now developers are working on the fact that up to a maximum increase the production of collagen, which is the main element of the building skin. In the process of growing the sheets are superimposed on each other, and collagen creates a fiber structure, which makes the artificial leather in appearance very similar to this, but without impurities fat, flesh, hair, glands and the like. In addition to imparting an artificial skin required for carrying structures require fewer chemicals.
The first prototypes were created artificial skin specialists as early as 2013 and is now the researchers are working to improve its product.
Grown in vitro skin open up new possibilities for designers. Since the process of growing artificial skin starts from scratch, you can create a variety of shapes and types to give a finished product with minimal production costs.
Experts of the company currently developing a material that is stronger and thinner than normal skin. The researchers plan to create the skin in three dimensions, allowing designers to create complex shapes without seams and waste.
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