What if bandages could be grown by bacteria?
Bacteria are some of the world’s toughest organisms. They are found in the coldest, deepest parts of the sea and in the boiling water from geysers. Although some bacterial colonies can threaten human life, bacteria can be used to produce essential molecules and materials like bacterial cellulose.
Once harvested, bacterial cultures can be controlled to grow biofilms in almost any shape, even hollow or three-dimensional. Bacterial cellulose is one of the most incredible materials in nature: it is strong, it retains its original properties after exposure to temperature or chemical solvents, it has good optical properties, and it is not harmful to living tissue. Combined with bioengineering, bacterial cellulose could become a sustainable and inexpensive alternative for various medical applications and even everyday products.
Luiz G. Greca, PhD student
Blaise L. Tardy, postdoc
Janika Lehtonen, PhD student