Moisture-Responsive Gym Gear Cools You Down As You Sweat

Moisture-Responsive Gym Gear Cools You Down As You Sweat
Design

Made from a fabric developed at MIT, the garments rely on bacteria to optimize cooling when the wearer is active

Ido Lechner, Home Editor
  • 1 june 2017

A team of researchers at MIT Media Lab designed a seemingly living fabric, dubbed ‘bioLogic,’ and fashioned it into the world’s most breathable workout suit, complete with ventilating flaps that open and close in response to an athlete’s body heat and perspiration. The flaps, which range in size from that of a thumbnail to a whole finger, are lined with live microbial cells that shrink and expand based on fluctuations in humidity. Acting as organic sensors and actuators, the various sizes and placement of the flaps were determined based on heat and sweat maps of the body.

With garments that unfurls to release heat and moisture, athletes can keep their internal temperature low and their skin unclogged. For those wary of wearing a suit lined with E. coli, know that the cells have been proven to be safe to touch (and taste), and that there is a thin line of padding between them and the wearer’s skin in any case. The bioLogic outfit opens doors for an emerging type of wearable: organic and alive.

http://tangible.media.mit.edu/project/biologic/

Macroscopic view of the bio-hybrid film that reacts to sweaty skin (MIT)

“We can combine our cells with genetic tools to introduce other functionalities into these living cells,’ Wen Wang, the project paper’s lead author, explained. “We use fluorescence as an example, and this can let people know you are running in the dark. In the future we can combine odor-releasing functionalities through genetic engineering. so—maybe after going to the gym—the shirt can release a nice-smelling odor!”

Bioengineering in the sports and fashion world is a relatively young concept with a lot of potential. With the advent of 3D-printed meta-materials and interwoven touch-screen fibers, the future of style isn’t just chic, but functional. All things considered, the future of clothing looks to be increasingly connected, technologically discreet and perhaps even organically powered.

bioLogic


Lead Image: Rob Chron | CC

A team of researchers at MIT Media Lab designed a seemingly living fabric, dubbed ‘bioLogic,’ and fashioned it into the world’s most breathable workout suit, complete with ventilating flaps that open and close in response to an athlete’s body heat and perspiration. The flaps, which range in size from that of a thumbnail to a whole finger, are lined with live microbial cells that shrink and expand based on fluctuations in humidity. Acting as organic sensors and actuators, the various sizes and placement of the flaps were determined based on heat and sweat maps of the body.

+bioengineering
+biotech
+Design
+Fashion
+fitness
+MIT Media Lab
+sport
+technology
+wearables

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