Wearable Bioreactors


Stefano Pagani
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Videos put together

Benjamin Wilmerding
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Algae Shade

Stefano Pagani and Natalie Ferry
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Bioactive Bandage

Natalie Hatton and Clio Bildman
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The Bioactive Bandage provides instant relief to 2nd-degree burn victims by soothing and caring for the damaged skin. It is made of silicone that will infuse aloe into the skin, to keep the burn moisturized.  

The Bioactive Bandage helps victims of 2nd-degree burns which don't require a hospital visit but need to be cared for.  This project is aimed to help those with moderate burns and the scars that they may leave. The Bioactive Bandage could help people be able to accurately care for their wounds without having to worry and stress. 

The product is made out of a thin layer of silicone that sticks to the skin and allows bioengineered aloe to infuse itself into the burn site when needed. There are many other products that use silicone because it traps the heat in and keeps the skin clean, but our product infuses aloe vera, which has been proven to help significantly with soothing the burn and reducing scarring.  The user just needs to apply the silicone to the burn sites and let them heal.

The Food Suit

Oliver Peterson and Richard Lourie
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The Food Suit is a wearable bioreactor that supplies the wearer with the required nutritional energy for the day. This allows the wearer to go long periods without eating. The nutritious mixture is produced by an algae farm carried on the back. The algae is then moved to a separate tank filled with a substance that breaks down the algae into its basic components. These are then transferred into a transdermal patch, which releases the nutrients into the bloodstream. A transdermal patch is a sticky patch placed on the skin, which its micro-needles pierce to gain access to the bloodstream. The Food Suit revolutionizes the way people consume food by removing the hassle of finding food throughout the day. This project also allows people to know that they are getting the exact nutrients needed. This project could be useful to a variety of people, such as a rock climber on a lengthy climb who can't stop to eat, an astronaut on a space expedition who needs an unlimited food supply or just a regular person who needs to lose weight but can't find the right foods to eat.


The Food Suit engages the social issue of not having enough money to eat healthy. All over the world, people are living in poverty and all they can afford are cookies. Imagine a world where people are not hungry and not overweight.

The food suit is a clear backpack with a pump to flow the algae and the glucose into the wearer. The wearer blows into a tube which provides the Co2 to grow the algae in a bag. Once it is grown, it goes to another bag where the algae is broken down into glucose. It is then pumped into a filter with a pump. What hasn't been filtered out is pumped into a box with micro-needles, that are pierced into the skin, that lets the glucose go into the body.

Bio-protective Skin

Ilana Cooke and Benjamin Wilmerding
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UV Resistant Sleeve: A sleeve to protect workers or beachgoers from harsh and dangerous UV rays that damage and burn skin.

People who have to work outside all day are often the victims of the sun.The sun’s rays burn their exposed skin. They are in danger of skin cancer caused by the UV rays. The UV Bio-Protective Sleeve was created to deflect the UV rays and protect the wearer’s skin. The wearer could just wear long-sleeved clothing but that may cause overheating or heatstroke. The wearer slides it onto your arm into the four supportive rings on the inside of the sleeve, which keep it supported.

The UV Bio-Protective Skin is made out of kombucha fibers that are still living. The bacteria that grows in tea and sugar which produces the SCOBY that has been genetically engineered to produce SASP (Small, acid-soluble proteins) proteins which are produced by Bacillus spores. SASP proteins are UV/heat resistant. The GMO bacteria is then grown into a SCOBY on the surface of the tea from which a material for clothes can be made.  An area of research and development involves ensuring the SCOBY has a continuous water supply.

Inside the SCOBY material are tubes that carry the nutrients needed to keep the SCOBY alive. Inside the tubes, there’s the sugars and kombucha tea that the SCOBY needs to stay alive. The kombucha fibers deflect the UV rays from the sun and keep the skin underneath healthy and protected. The hope is that using the UV Bio-Protective Sleeve will decrease skin cancer and keep people safe and healthy.

-Ilana Cooke

Wearable Vegan Uv Protection: An arm sleeve that is made out of vegan Kombucha fibers, made from dried SCOBY, which contains fibers of genetically engineered UV resistant properties and that are constantly getting fed proper amounts of water and other nutrients to be kept alive. This device is geared toward people who are looking to stay protected from UV rays and hope to benefit from their skin also, receiving healthy nutrients from the Kombucha arm sleeve.

Many people run into the problem of enjoying warm sunny days due to the fear of being burned by the harmful UV rays coming from the sun. Our device not only solves that problem but also benefits your skin in the long run. We wanted to make a fabric for an arm sleeve that could protect one from the harmful UV rays. As our fabric, we decided to use dried SCOBY, originated from Kombucha. We chose this because Kombucha SCOBY posses many beneficiary properties for the skin. Also, it will possess the UV resistant properties after we genetically engineer the gene into the Kombucha bacteria.

In order to create this sleeve, we started with a bucket of Kombucha with a solid piece of SCOBY floating at the top; the piece getting larger and thicker as the days went by as it was being cultured. In order to make the SCOBY into a fabric with an irrigation system, we had to do a series of steps: Such as installing the plastic tubing for the irrigation and leaving it in a convection oven for a couple hours in the order it to fully dry, to then be stretched out as a fabric. The one step we were unable to do was to genetically engineer the Kombucha to have the UV resistant qualities; however, that would have been one of the first steps in terms of growing the Kombucha. 

-Ben Wilmerding

Final demonstration videos

Benjamin Wilmerding
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In the videos, the viewer will see the black water representing our kombucha that would be running through the irrigation tubes which are in place within the rings (in the video). The fabric draped over the rings is our dried out kombucha fabric, and we sprayed water over it to mold/drape on to the rings.(To pump the water through used syringes.)


Christopher Kitchen and 3 OthersLouie Adamian
Lia Darling
Nina Cragg
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People are not always attuned to what their bodies need and the reasons they feel tired or sick. Improper nutrition can often be the cause.  NutriSensor is a wearable bioreactor that helps people attain nutritional knowledge to improve their health. The patch detects levels of protein, glucose, fat, and sodium in the wearer's body and then connects with an app on the phone so they can check their nutrition levels anywhere, anytime. The ultimate goal of NutriSensor is to help people become more conscious about what they put in their bodies and become healthier. When people use this device, they will think about what foods they consume and what nutritional value a particular food actually has. People will become better informed about whether they are putting too much or too little of different types of foods into their bodies.

NutriSensor is designed for the general public who want to know more about their bodies. It is very helpful for people who struggle with protein deficiency, diabetes, obesity, and heart problems.  An obese user could see what nutritional values they were lacking and which were being over-consumed, so they could regulate their eating and lose weight. This patch is also very helpful to doctors because if someone felt sick and couldn't express their symptoms, the doctor could touch the phone to the patch and find out that person's nutrition levels, without having to order a blood draw and wait for lab results.

NutriSensor is a small square with microneedles that go into the wearer's forearm. These microneedles go into the skin and use capillary action to suck up the interstitial fluid that's between the cells. This fluid flows into 4 different chambers that host engineered E.coli cells that can detect 4 distinct nutrients: protein, glucose, fat, and sodium. Once the bacteria sense the amount of protein, they will send a number of electrons to the NFC chip, indicating the protein level. There has been the Fitbit that tracts your exercise and heartbeat and a hydration monitor coming out in the summer but there has never been a monitor that detects the nutrition in your body like the NutriSensor.

Wearable Bioreactors V01

Katia Zolotovsky
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In this studio, students will explore the potential of biotechnology to enhance us as human beings and help us survive in extreme environments. Simple organisms such as bacteria, algae, etc are all around us and inside our bodies. Bacteria cells in our body outnumber human cells 10:1. If the new technology of biology allows us to engineer these organisms for new functions, what new abilities could we as humans/ or synthetic humans have? Can we inhabit new environments? Can we engineer synthetic organisms to filter water, generate power, detect and transform harmful chemicals, produce food, make bioplastics? In this studio,  students will imagine, design, and build wearable bioreactors that will inhabit engineered living cells to work in symbiosis with us, empower us, and enhance our survival abilities.