'Second Skin' is a living clothing line that expands when a person sweats, allowing the clothing to become more breathable when need be. Designed in a partnership between MIT, New Balance and the Royal College of Art, the clothing line uses a bacteria that responds to humidity.
The bacteria is called Bacillus subtilis natto and is integrated into the clothing by printing it onto a biofilm that then lays on the clothing. Flaps of clothing with the biofilm can curl or fold up away from the body when the person is sweating.
The flaps react to the smallest bit of moisture, curling up like a wet piece of paper. The leader of the BioLogic lab, Lining Yao, looks at the relationship of biology and fashion as one that has not yet been tapped. Looking to the future, things like bioluminescent or pollution-eating bacteria could be sewn into living clothing, giving it a whole other function.
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