Saturday, September 14, 2013

Algaerium Bioprinter

Japanese designer Marin Sawa's research uses algae in new and different ways.  Her current project is called a "Algaerium Bioprinter" and can print with so-called superfoods like Chlorella, Spirulina, and Haematococcus.  By the way, science students, these are all names of genus taxa -  Chlorella (in the Protist Kingdom),  Spirulina (in the Bacteria Kingdom), and Haematococcus (Plant Kingdom, or some scientists call it by different names, including Viridiplantae.)  And, I learned that Haematococcus is responsible for the red color that sometimes is found at the bottom of dried-out bird baths!

But I digress...

So, designer Marin Sawa is creating this bioprinter as part of her doctoral research at Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design in London (a school known for pushing the boundaries of arts, design and performance) and wants to adapt industrial algae farming technology for domestic use.  (Although a growing segment of the population is already trying algae farming at home!)  She hopes to find new ways for consuming health food supplements, and is currently developing the technology to print algal-based energy devices as well as filtering devices.  See more incredible photos here.

Maybe she should meet artists Michael Burton and Michiko Nitta?

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