Green Cells: Cells constructed using synthetic biology keep visitors away from pollution

Rapid industrialization and careless use of fossil fuels has altered the natural mix of air that we breathe in by increasing the amount of greenhouse gases such as CO2 and carbon monoxide in it. Not only is this blend harmful for us, but it is also increasing global temperatures and causing global warming. Designer Sebastian Popa has come up with an ambitious project that makes use of synthetic biology to create a network of “cells” which can absorb harmful gases from ambient air and hence provide clean air for every one inside the cell.

The project, dubbed “Green Cells”, has been designed as an urban network inspired by the cell system in natural biology along with the immune system that protects us from diseases and helps us recover if we’re ill. The Green Cells treat pollution and provide clean air to everybody inside the cell.

There are three levels of interaction inside the Green Cells – the first level helps the cells identify the quality of surrounding air and allows it to absorb pollution and release fresh air. Once an area gets too polluted the cells become ill and changes color from green to brown along with changing its shape to alert visitors about excessive pollution in the area.

Once a Green Cell gets ill, other healthy Green Cells in the network give it the energy and nutrients to repair itself via an underground network. A highly polluted Green Cell can also close itself to protect visitors from entering it and breathing polluted air. Apart from offering a non-polluted area for urban dwellers, Green Cell can also filter rainwater for use later.

Cheers! Sebastian Popa

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