Exciting strides in eco-friendly pollution cleanup have emerged as researchers at the University of California San Diego unveil a groundbreaking “Engineered Living Material” (ELM). This innovative material, a fusion of seaweed-based polymer and genetically engineered cyanobacteria, can efficiently convert organic contaminants in water into harmless substances.
The cyanobacteria, ingeniously programmed to self-destruct upon exposure to theophylline, proved a game-changer in ensuring environmental safety. Employing 3D printing technology, a grid-like structure maximizes bacterial viability and surface area for superior decontamination results. This revolutionary ELM holds promise for tackling various pollutants, such as textile industry dyes, all while prioritizing ecological harmony.