Protocell Running Shoes Regenerate

This prototype of a protocell synthetic biology running shoe could provide the antidote for that pile of old running shoes you have in the closet. The 3D-printed running shoes are made from protocells, artificial cells that can be dunked in special goo that renews them. Your shoes will never grow old!

(Protocell bio-shoe by Shamees Aden)

"Protocells is a form of synthetic biology that blurs the gap between the non-living and living," Aden wrote on her Web site. "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."

Taking care of the shoes would require a little more than just throwing them into the closet when you get home. They would need to be immersed in a container full of protocell liquid to replenish the material.

"You would take the trainers home and you would have to care for it as if it was a plant, making sure it has the natural resources needed to rejuvenate the cells," Aden [said].

Fans of sf great J.G. Ballard recall the living bio-fabric clothing from his haunting 1970 short story Say Goodby to the Wind:

Clothes are no longer made from dead fibers of fixed color and texture that can approximate only crudely to the vagrant human figure, but from living tissues that adapt themselves to the contours and personality of the wearer. Other advantages are the continued growth of the materials, fed by the body odours and perspriration of the wearer, the sweet liqueurs distilled from her own pores, and the constant renewal of the fibers, repairing any faults or ladders and eliminating the need for washing.

From Shamees Aden via Cnet.

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