Innovation That Matters

The headphones consist of six different microbially-grown substances | Photo source Aivan

Finnish studio grows headphones from fungus and yeast


Aivan has developed Korvaa, the world’s first microbe-grown headphone prototype

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Finnish studio Aivan is trying to grow headphones from sustainable fungus and yeast. Working with scientists from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Aalto University, it developed the world’s first microbe-grown headphone prototype, dubbed Korvaa.

The headphones consist of six different microbially-grown substances. The rigid plastic frame of the headphones is 3D-printed using the lactic acid in baker’s yeast. The padding that sits over the ears is produced by a fungus called trichoderma reesei, which is able to produce a foaming protein called hydrophobin.

The foam is covered by mycelium and the mesh-like cover for the speakers comes from a microbially-produced protein that is based on spider silk, chosen because of its toughness.

The prototype is an example of synthetic biology, a technology that merges engineering with biology to accomplish things like constructing materials or creating energy.




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