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Harvard develops keratin-based 3D printed textile that changes form

A research team from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) has drawn inspiration from hair to develop a 3D printable textile that changes its form based on moisture exposure using a shape memory concept.

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As even the most coiffed hair often becomes curly or frizzy when exposed to water or moisture, the 3D printed material can be engineered with its own shape memory. Interestingly, hair is involved in this project in another way: the 3D printable material is itself made from keratin, a fibrous protein derived from hair, nails and shells. In SEAS’ work, it used keratin taken from leftover Agora wool from the textile manufacturing industry. The goal of the project is to produce a biocompatible textile that could essentially shrink or expand to fit the wearer. The material, made from leftover wool, could also help to reduce waste in the fashion […]

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