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London, UK designer creates 3D-printed, regenerative running shoes from protocells – how cool is that?!



Technology is building and growing at an incredible rate.


We have recently seen the launch of the 3D printer where you have a normal picture of any item, add some ingredients to the monster machine and you print out the item in 3D and can use it!!


London has been able to produce a 3D printed running shoe that you can actually wear!


At the Wearable Futures Conference in London, designer and researcher Shames Aden revealed a running shoe concept that will put your current ‘ready for the bin’ sneakers to shame!


The shoes that he is developing with the University of Southern Denmark professor Martin Hanczyc are printed 3D from a synthetic biological material that is able to repair themselves over night.


The running shoes are the product of the Adens study of protocells. The basic molecules are not alive but can be combined to produce living organisms.


By mixing different protocells brings different properties which allow them to be trained in a way to behave differently depending on specific aspects such as heat, light and pressure. A bit too technical for us however the shoes construction allows them to be printed 3D to the exact size of our feet, thus giving the feeling of a second skin.


Perfect for any enthusiastic exercise individual the shoes would react to pressure and movement to provide extra cushioning / support when required.




“The cells have the capability to inflate and deflate and to respond to pressure,” Aden tells Dezeen. “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.”



After using the shoes would be placed in a jar which is filled with living liquid protocells. The liquid is produced to work as a ‘charger’ or ‘reviver’ just like your mobile charger! It keeps the organisms alive in the healthy shoes and helping them to rejuvenate.

The liquid can also be dyed any color, so the shoes would take on the hue of its liquid protocells charger.

It’s an interesting concept that not only blurs the line between living and non-living organisms, but also pushes the boundaries of 3D printing. According to Aden, the technology is nearly here, and these shoes could become a reality by 2050.







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