MIT engineers and biologists teamed up and designed a living-cell-injected hydrogel that can illuminate when exposed to certain chemicals.
The MIT team made wearable sensors using the hydrogel with living cells that lit up after touching a surface with certain chemicals. The new material has the potential to detect chemicals in the environment and the human body.
“With this design, people can put different types of bacteria in these devices to indicate toxins in the environment, or disease on the skin,” said Timothy Lu, associate professor of biological engineering and electrical engineering and computer science, in an MIT news release. “We’re demonstrating the potential for living materials and devices.”