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    The gills printed in 3D to breathe underwater

    Have you ever wanted, during a summer dive, to have a super power that allows you to breathe underwater? In a dusky climate future in which rising sea levels will affect most of the world’s population, knowing how to survive in less dry habitats could become a necessity.
     
    Perhaps with this scenario in mind,  Jun Kamei  – designer and material scientist of the Royal College of Art – has created AMPHIBIO , a dive equipment that transforms man into an aquatic creature with gills. Wearable like a scarf, lighter than a classic scuba gear, AMPHIBIO is made of a special porous and hydrophobic material, which supports underwater breathing by drawing oxygen from the surrounding water and dissipating carbon dioxide accumulated in the system.
    The technology is inspired by the ability of some aquatic insects to form around them a thin air bubble trapped by a layer of hydrophobic hairs, and allows you to use this sort of diving mask as a breathing room. The material designed in collaboration with the RCA-IIS Tokyo Design Lab , will be printable in 3D and available in various configurations: to allow an adult man to breathe underwater, they would need extra-large gills, with an oxygen-CO2 exchange surface of 32 square meters.
    For now, the laboratory experiments of a non-wearable prototype seem to work: the gills draw small progressive amounts of oxygen from the water and are able to dissipate the CO2 introduced artificially into them.

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