A new bioplastic made from chitosan has been discovered by researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute.
It is fully degradable, isolated from shrimp shells, and can be used in large-scale manufacturing of everyday objects – from cell phones to food containers and toys, according to researchers.
"There is an urgent need in many industries for sustainable materials that can be mass produced," said Don Ingber, founding director of Wyss Institute. "Our scalable manufacturing method shows that chitosan, which is readily available and inexpensive, can serve as a viable bioplastic that could potentially be used instead of conventional plastics for numerous industrial applications."
The team developed a new way to process the material so that it can be used to fabricate large, 3-D objects with complex shapes using traditional casting or injection molding manufacturing techniques.
More about this new material in 3-D printing on NED.