Self-repairing trainers 3D-printed from
biological cells by Shamees Aden

| 5 comments
 

Wearable Futures: London designer and researcher Shamees Aden is developing a concept for running shoes that would be 3D-printed from synthetic biological material and could repair themselves overnight.

Protocell Trainers by Shamees Aden
Photograph by Sam J Bond

Shamees Aden's Protocells trainer would be 3D-printed to the exact size of the user's foot from a material that would fit like a second skin. It would react to pressure and movement created when running, puffing up to provide extra cushioning where required.

Aden developed the project in collaboration with Dr Martin Hanczyc, a professor at the University of Southern Denmark who specialises in protocell technology. Protocells are very basic molecules that are not themselves alive, but can be combined to create living organisms.

Protocell Trainers by Shamees Aden

By mixing different types of these non-living molecules, scientists are attempting to produce artificial living systems that can be programmed with different behaviours, such as responsiveness to pressure, light and heat.

"The cells have the capability to inflate and deflate and to respond to pressure," Aden told Dezeen at the Wearable Futures conference in London. "As you're running on different grounds and textures it's able to inflate or deflate depending on the pressure you put onto it and could help support you as a runner."

Protocell Trainers by Shamees Aden

After a run, the protocells in the material would lose their energy and the shoes would be placed in a jar filled with protocell liquid, which would keep the living organisms healthy. The liquid could also be dyed any colour, causing the shoes to take on that colour as the cells rejuvenate.

"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," said the designer.

Protocell Trainers by Shamees Aden

Aden added that her footwear project was intended to help a broader range of people comprehend the potential of protocell technology, and claimed the speculative results could become reality by 2050.

Protocell Trainers by Shamees Aden

The project is being presented at Wearable Futures, an event focusing on innovations in wearable technologies taking place in London from 10-11 December.

Photography is by the designer unless otherwise stated.

  • Pete

    It could, it would – stop talking (particularly about 3D printing) and start doing.

    • A_potato

      They ARE doing, YOU are talking.

  • Adam Adil

    Wow, so much hate! Just let her get on with it, rather than shoot her down before she has a chance!

  • Adam Adil

    I think everyone’s being a bit harsh – she seems to be trying to make this and someone at Dezeen has asked if they could write an article about it. I don’t think she’s gone out of her way to talk in the hypotheticals.

    As for the concept, which no-one seems to be discussing, it seems like quite a good idea to have shoes which repair themselves, and adapt to the pressures of running on different surfaces.

  • Kelvin K

    I’ll be too old for a run in 2050 by then :(