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Living Leather

It's alive!
  (+5, -4)
(+5, -4)
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Researchers recently created a functioning heart in the laboratory. They got an old heart, used detergents to remove the original cells (leaving the extracellular matrix as a framework), and introduced cardiac stem cells which grew to fill the framework.

I want to do the same thing, except for leather jackets. Skin tissue could be grown on a jacket mold using skin stem cells. To create the mold, you strip the upper-body skin tissue of a recently-dead body (down to the fat) that used to share your clothing measurements.

Next, you remove the original cells with a detergent, leaving the cellular matrix. Then, you introduce your own skin stem cells into the framework, submerge the whole thing in a nutrient-rich bath, and wait.

When it's done, you can keep it alive while wearing it either by hooking its circulation system up to yours through a few intravenous tubes, or by hooking it to some kind of mechanical circulatory pump.

It should act like a another layer of skin. If it gets hot, it'll sweat. Its hair will grow. If it's cut, it will heal and develop a scar. If you start wearing it while you're little, it'll grow with you as your growth stretches it.

By the way, I'm a size S. Anybody size S too?

plasticspoon, Mar 12 2009

Lab heart http://www1.umn.edu...art_in_the_lab.html
Researchers create a new heart in the lab [plasticspoon, Mar 12 2009]

Bioengineering organs http://www.scienced...02/080216095724.htm
Culture methods [plasticspoon, Mar 12 2009]

Stem-cell skin grafts http://www.lifesite...5/feb/05021806.html
[plasticspoon, Mar 12 2009]

something like this Self_20Leather
[FlyingToaster, Mar 12 2009]

[link]






       How many additional layers of these things is optimal? One might offer one or two to new and easily offended halfbakers.
bungston, Mar 12 2009
  

       Let me check my Extreme Skin-O-Meter.
plasticspoon, Mar 12 2009
  

       In Harry Harrison's Eden trilogy, the sentient bipedal dinosaurs used living animals called 'clokes' to wrap around themselves and keep themselves warm.
simonj, Mar 12 2009
  

       //Then, you introduce your own skin stem cells into the framework, submerge the whole thing in a nutrient-rich bath, and wait.//   

       Your *own* skin cells?   

       Yup. It'll share your DNA. I guess this makes it a bespoke jacket.
plasticspoon, Mar 12 2009
  

       Brings to mind,   

       "Terminators are made up of living tissue over metal endoskeletons..."
and strangely,
  

       "It rubs the lotion on its skin..."   

       //Your *own* skin cells?//
[2fries] has a point, surely celebrity jackets would be more popular.
FlyingToaster, Mar 12 2009
  

       Right, I guess you would want DNA from somebody with nice skin. I wouldn't pay for a jacket that sweats constantly and gets pimples.
plasticspoon, Mar 12 2009
  

       That makes it preheated, not baked.
normzone, Mar 13 2009
  

       //That makes it preheated, not baked//
Yes, but the Star Wars films (and I assume by extension, the books) are set in a galaxy "a long time ago", so that makes them...no, wait.
coprocephalous, Mar 13 2009
  

       //If it gets hot, it'll sweat. Its hair will grow. If it's cut, it will heal and develop a scar//...if it contracts an infection it will necrotise and shed flakes on the bus, or just go off and melt in the cupboard, with only the smell of rotting flesh to eventually alert you to the fact you need to buy a new coat.   

       Apart from that (and the off-putting idea of seeing lots of apparently naked people walking around in zip-up skin-suits) I *kind* of like it - [neutral] on this one - fun (and icky) to think about.
zen_tom, Mar 13 2009
  

       You can tattoo it too, right? Hmm, I'll stay neutral.
ye_river_xiv, Mar 15 2009
  

       // intracellular matrix// Sp. extracellular matrix.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 15 2009
  

       //intracellular matrix// Sp. or Df.=Definition . Definition really shouldn't be confused with spelling unless your joking.   

       How about a magnetic extracellular matrix with a intracellular effect.
wjt, Mar 15 2009
  

       'Excession' by Iain M. Banks relates this very idea. The skin/DNA samples were donated 2 years before then grown and tailored to produce a full suit made of the users skin.
gnomethang, Mar 15 2009
  

       IMB never said the matrix was from someone else, and i think the assumption is that it's grown with your own skin. I don't think skin is the best choice because it relies on a circulation, and at the point it's in the bath, that's not there, so it's only going to survive if it's in a very thin layer. I don't think the accessory structures would grow on their own either. There needs to be a layer on the outside to keep it from dehydrating and it could kill you if it gets infected - it could become devastatingly pussy and like von Zumbusch psoriasis, which involves the loss of protein and electrolytes and can be fatal. What might work, i think, are thin layers of corneal epithelium drenched constantly in artificial tears or a jacket made of some form of skin cancer cell. I think the former is more likely, as carcinoma cells tend not to stick together very well.   

       I really think you're going to have to forget about the circulatory system being involved as you'd probably just get shock and dehydration.
nineteenthly, Mar 15 2009
  

       So this is to create an expensive hairy smelly jacket that makes you look like a fat shirtless guy with a MASSIVE heart surgery scar down the front. Hmmm, I'll give it (+) for originality and a (-) for usability.
MisterQED, Mar 15 2009
  

       I am, however, wondering if you could use implants to create skinflaps, or maybe weights and piercings, or...this is starting to seem familiar.
nineteenthly, Mar 15 2009
  

       For different colors, put it in a tanning booth.
Smurfsahoy, Mar 16 2009
  

       //you could use implants to create skinflaps//
You don't need to create him - he already exists.
coprocephalous, Mar 16 2009
  

       As a motorbicycleist I prefer the thing I fall on to be dead and feel no pain. Unlike me. ARRGGGG. [-]   

       Its a lot easier to skin a cow and cure it, and we eat so much beef in the western world, leather is really a waste product that needs using up.
eight_nine_tortoise, Mar 16 2009
  

       It's hard to say which is the by-product. There's beef, leather, dairy, veal and horn, and i imagine pharmaceuticals. Is taurine actually gotten from cows, synthesised or from somewhere else? What's the biggest market and the biggest profit margin?
nineteenthly, Mar 16 2009
  

       //I prefer the thing I fall on to be dead and feel no pain//   

       Then I reccomend you ride on asphault. What the hell are roads made out of in England anyway?
MikeD, Mar 16 2009
  

       You've designed Hannibal Lecter's wardrobe.
theleopard, Mar 16 2009
  

       up_on_cloud_nine, how do you survive if you don't eat anything?   

       Mike, the roads in England consist of diesel, cow poo, loose stones and holes.
eight_nine_tortoise, Mar 16 2009
  
      
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