100 % biocompatible self-constructing protective packaging. How does the new intelligent cargopack work? And what services will be provided by the bacteria-constructed material to the product and the consumer?

The Bacs. material is a new kind of product packaging. On the one hand, Bacs. as a bacterially produced material is a sustainable kind of material and could be used as a new industrial packaging material, on the other hand the self-construction of a product's packaging by the bacteria directly on the product's surface could be used for smaller requirements. The material is built by bacteria Acetobacter xylinum on the culture medium's surface by synthesizing glucosic sugar into a fibrous nano-scaled cellulose network. With its super-fine fibers the material offers a high strength and could be used for various applications. The untreated initial hydrogel state forms a moisturizing and damping packaging material e.g. for keeping food fresh for longer. In its normal dried state it offers a hygienic packaging material in the form of strong paper. This could be built directly on the product's surface or grow into a given form. The third property offered by Bacs. is a freeze-dried protective foam-like structure for sensitive products, with good insulating and damping properties. You only need to "feed" the bacteria with their glucosic food.The organic material can be adapted to the product. In nature, for the bacteria, it also acts as a UV protection, and this could probably be used for UV-sensitive products. This cellulosic material is 100 % biodegradable and provides a sustainable solution for packaging material. The product is directly packed, with allround protection, adapted to the product's requirements, so it is a sustainable alternative to viscoelastic foams.

THE JURY'S VERDICT "Bacs by Mareike Frensemeier proposes the use of bacteria to convert glucose into cellulose. The resulting product, which is produced in an energy-efficient and eco-friendly self-constructing process, can be used as an alternative packaging material."

AWARD RECIPIENT MAREIKE FRENSEMEIER "The award’s concept really thrilled me. With this competition we as students get the chance to gain an impression of industry’s future problems and to make a contribution to further future approaches. For me as a "non-design" student it was an inspiring and new challenge, to deal with futuristic visions other than natural sciences. The award also encourages me to further lateral thinking, and to keep my eyes open for more approaches for a sustainable future."

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