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Researchers 3D Print Biodegradable “Leaves” Capable of Producing Oxygen on Mars


3D printing is becoming more sophisticated almost by the day, as scientists and engineers are constantly improving and developing techniques to make the process more efficient and expand its capabilities. Creating sustainable solutions is just one way to enhance the benefits of 3D printing, especially for future projects and applications.


Recently, researchers have taken the meaning of “future projects” to the next level by printing an actual living material that could have many exciting applications— including on the planet Mars. A number of international researchers worked on the project, which was led by the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. Using a new bioprinting technique, they were able to print living “artificial leaves” made of algae and capable of photosynthesis. Kui Yu, a Ph.D. student involved in the project, explains that “the biodegradable nature of the material itself and the recyclable use of microalgal cells make it a sustainable living material.” This means that it can produce energy and still break down naturally over time. Neat, huh? Printed on bacterial cellulose, the microalgae is also extremely durable. Super strong and sustainable, it’s the best of both worlds all in […]

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