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InnoCell Bioreactor

Research Group: Biobased Art and Design

Bacterial cellulose is a versatile bio-material grown by bacteria commonly found in kombucha tea. It has various applications in fashion, medicine, and packaging design, and also shows potential as a bio-compatible material.

Growing large quantities of bacterial cellulose requires time, effort, and a lot of space. To enable designers to do this, researchers at the Design Friction Lab at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano developed the InnoCell Bioreactor: an open source, DIY bioreactor that generates up to twenty times more bacterial cellulose than a static culture with the same surface area.

At the Material Incubator Lab, researcher Ward Groutars had the pleasure of building, testing, and improving the design of this bioreactor, which already shows great potential for mass-producing bacterial cellulose for art and design purposes.



The InnoCell Bioreactor is developed and shared by the Design Friction Lab, Free University of Bolzano, under the following Creative Commons licence:

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)arrow

More information on the InnoCell Bioreactor can be found herearrow.

‘Bacteria, Fungi, Humans, all part of the same experiment.’

Ward Groutars is a researcher with the Biobased Art and Design research group. 

Ward Groutars arrow

Research Group: Biobased Art and Design

The research group Biobased Art and Design capitalises on the role of artistic practice in unlocking the unique potentials of living organisms for everyday materials and communicating these to a broader public. In doing so, the group aims to instigate and accelerate our widespread understanding, further development and usage of such materials. The group’s research approach encourages tangible interactions with the living organisms, such as algae, fungi, plants and bacteria, to explore and understand their unique qualities and constraints through diverse technical and creative methods taking artists, designers and scientists as equal and active partners in the material creation.

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