Hydrogel Scaffolds for Algae Proliferation

Julie Hagopian, Sanika Mohite, Qian Huang, Xinyi (Valery) Zhou

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The project investigates how 3D bio-printing with hydrogels can produce bio-Receptive architectural scaffolds for a pavilion structure in Camley street Nature Park, London.

Hydrogel is a responsive and dynamic material that can autonomously absorb and retain water, being bio-compatible and non-toxic to algae cells. As a synthetic substance, it can be manipulated based on its chemical composition and 3-dimensionalised by means of robotic fabrication that allows to create highly complex, yet also controlled geometries. 3D bio-printing of algae encapsulated hydrogels can therefore offer new application of possibilities and opportunities for architectural design following a top-down developmental approach wherein the properties, capabilities and limitations of  the material are what inform the resultant component complexities.

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A series of prototypes were constructed that successfully respond to climate variations and vicissitudes in the London area, serving as a suitable platform to host a variety of micro-algae on the building’s surface.

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