Bioplastic Fantastic – Between Products and Organisms

By Johanna Schmeer

Bioplastic Fantastic investigates new types of products and interactions which might emerge from material innovations in the fields of bio- and nanotechnology.

It speculates about the future design and use of products made from enzyme-enhanced materials. The concept is based on a recent scientific breakthrough in the synthesis of functioning biological cells made from bioplastics. [1]

Seven products replace or complement the current food system by providing all nutrients and energy needed for a human to survive. They produce water, vitamins, fibre, sugar, fat, protein and minerals through biological processes, and are powered by artificial photosynthesis.

All of the product designs are based on model organisms which have similar functions in nature. They use the functional part of the biological circuit (enzymes), and combine this with non-living matter (bioplastic).

As interactive products are growing closer and closer to the body, and scientists are making advances in the use of living matter in materials suitable for product design, it is only a question of time until biochemical processes will be taking place in and on our technological devices.

[1] Johnson, Russell (2014). Nanoreactors: Catalysis in Compartments, Nature Chemistry, 2014/01