Materials science professor suggests building buildings with bacteria

A block of grains of sand held by living cells

The cities of the future will most likely be created from materials that we have no idea about today. In particular, it is possible that these will be living materials - for example, mushrooms, or concrete created by microorganisms.

Will Srubar, a materials scientist and engineering specialist at the University of Colorado at Boulder, argues in a new essay that living, self-developing and self-healing structures will be the best choice for the construction industry of the future.

Developing living materials is expected to not only reduce the financial costs of renovating and assembling new buildings, but also eliminate many of the environmental costs of producing conventional building materials.

Of course, turning to living materials will require rethinking the entire concept of construction, even if scientists find a way to make these materials both practical and cost-effective.

Living materials allow the construction of a wide variety of shapes