# Grow Horn
#GOODBIODESIGN: Everyday objects through cell manufacturing.
Growhorn is a process in which horn substance can be freely formed by using biotechnological processes. The resulting products are resistant and can be returned to nature in grated form as fertilizer.
GrowHorn understands the genetic information as assembly instructions. In a way that is almost invisible to the human being, an object that can be used for him is created from nothingness. No large or noisy machines are required. Over time, the designed objects grow up – as it seems – through small workers in the transparent nutrient solution. What is particularly appealing is the simplicity, environmental compatibility and the magical effect of the appearance when the organisms organise, form themselves in an incomprehensible way and ultimately – die.
In contrast to the other products, this design focuses more on the process than on a specific product. Cells are reprogrammed – similar to a 3D printer – to retrieve data from the digital to the analog. Here, however, a completely ecological substance is used, which does not require the addition of plastics or chemical adhesives. The result is of organic origin, but in appearance and haptics it is in no way inferior to an industrially manufactured product. For the production only organic basic substances are needed, which are available in mass in the biosphere.
The biology behind this design is given a human-supporting, productive character, which can at the same time alleviate fundamental problems such as contamination by plastic waste.
The risks associated with this method are also low in this case: the cells are only active in conjunction with the nutrient solution, as otherwise they have no chance of survival. Death is pre-programmed in the cells and its activities end with cornification.
Genetic manipulation of cells forms the basis of the procedure: The cells are programmed for pure growth in a definable form and subsequent death and keratinization. The cells have been genetically engineered to follow three-dimensional growth within their DNA using a freely definable sequence. In each product development, the shape (for example a cup, vase or tile) is determined using CAD methods, converted into a kind of instruction for the microorganisms and then inserted into the variable part of the DNA. The cells are then exposed to a nutrient fluid, whereupon automated growth begins.
After the horn cells have been positioned in the nutrient solution in three dimensions, the cornification process begins, during which the cells fill up with keratin and harden. Similar to 3D printing, any shape is possible in this way.
The resulting product consists of horn substance and has its unique properties: tensile strength, elasticity, various colours and printing due to melanin distribution, insensitivity to environmental influences and a perfect return to the biological cycle.
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