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UV Bio-Protective Skin

Wearable Bioreactors | Projects

  • 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