Photo Credit: PUZZLE X

PUZZLE X material innovations: from human tissue printers to air-purifying bikes and graphene concrete

3D printed human tissues, air-purifiers that clean the air while riding a bicycle, and fabrics that heat themselves for monitoring health and body parameters. These are some of the cutting-edge innovations that will be showcased and discussed at the first edition of PUZZLE X, the new initiative focused on the use of Materials Deep Tech to build a more sustainable future for humanity. Held in Barcelona from November 16 to 18 and organized by Fira de Barcelona, the Advanced Material Future Preparedness Taskforce (AMPT) and Mobile World Capital Barcelona, the event aims to fast-track Frontier Materials innovation to solve society’s greatest challenges in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Graphene, a single layer of carbon atoms that promises to revolutionize many industries in the coming decades, is one of the Frontier Materials featured in several innovations at PUZZLE X from enhanced concrete to headphones and fabrics. Graphene textiles enable next-generation conductive biosensors capable of monitoring health parameters and regulating temperature. At the PUZZLE X event, the Swedish company Grafren AB will showcase a pair of heating gloves made from graphene-coated fabric.

Construction will also benefit from the properties of graphene. Versarien, a British company exploring the application of the 2D carbon layer in many fields, will exhibit the advantages of graphene-enhanced concrete. The newly created material not only improves its mechanical properties such as flexural strength but also has an impact in the environment due to the reduced CO2 emissions during its production.

Graphene is also the key element in a new membrane developed by Canadian company Ora, which designs improved headphones and loudspeakers that benefit from the material’s capabilities reducing energy consumption and achieving extraordinary frequency response.

Photo Credit: PUZZLE X

Printing a new world
3D printing has radically changed the concept of manufacturing in recent years and with the addition of Deep Tech materials, the scope and speed of innovation have dramatically increased. Spanish company REGEMAT 3D work on bioprinters that can print customized tissue such as cartilage, skin, bone or muscle, adapted for each patient and medical condition.

The potential of 3D printing also reaches the food industry where Barcelona-based Novameat prints steaks made from pea, seaweed and beetroot juice. This substitute could have a significant impact on the environment because the global impact of livestock farming is substantial and accounts for almost 15% of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization.

Air pollution is an environmental challenge being addressed by Planet Airo, the German start-up behind the Airo, an air purifier attachable to a bicycle that filters the air while riding. The Airo uses an innovative carbon mesh to adsorb, trap and disaggregate pollutants transforming bicycles into mobile purifiers. Arevo, who is reinventing the way composite parts are made for production and scale, develops ultrastrong and ultralight products. Innovations on display include the world’s first continuous carbon fibre, a made-to-order lounge chair that will be on the PUZZLE X stage and a 3D printed bike.

A selection of materials companies will feature in X-BIT Showcases, a two-hour immersive experience that will take place on November 16 as part of the activities offered by PUZZLE X.