The researchers and biologists at M.I.T. have engineered a new “living material,” which lights up on reacting with certain chemicals, a property that makes it ideal for investigations at crime-scenes and other scientific applications. The material is essentially a tough, stretchy, biocompatible layer of hydrogel infused with living cells, genetically reprogrammed for sensing certain chemicals in the human body and the environment.
In the current experiment, the scientists injected the hydrogel into gloves and bandages. The technology also allows bioengineers to inject different types of bacteria to detect the presence of a wide range of chemicals and toxins, reports Live Science.
Timothy Lu, associate professor of biological engineering and of electrical engineering and computer science, said that the breakthrough reflects the potential of living materials and devices, notes Knowridge.