Scientists in America are conducting a new study that aims to grow artificial timber in a lab without sunlight or soil. The research, which is being carried out at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is at the forefront of scientific efforts to improve the sustainability of construction materials and reduce the need for deforestation.
The team of researchers at MIT, which is being led by PhD student Ashley Beckwith, have used 3D printers to produce a gel that can be used to shape plant cells into the required shape. The process began with a sample extracted from the leaves of a Zinnia plant (a relative of the daisy) that was then grown into the desired wood-like plant tissue called lingin (an organic polymer that lends wood its firmness) through the use of hormones. The practical implications of the projects are radical. Depending on the scalability and affordability of the technology, the findings promise a complete reconfiguration in land-use and construction, with the ability to grow wood to […]
Above: PepsiCo food, snack, and beverage product line-up/Source: PepsiCo PepsiCo turned to tooling with 3D printing...