Next-Gen Materials Podcast

Next-Gen Materials Podcast

In a world of rampant consumerism, fast-fashion, single-use obsession, and ever-growing trash heaps, the choice of materials we use to produce everyday objects is becoming increasingly crucial to the well-being of present and future generations. This podcast highlights new technologies that are being used to create the world's next generation materials. Stay tuned to learn how biotech and other creative, novel technologies are being used to produce less waste, reduce harm to the environment, and obviate the need for animals in the materials industry.


April 1, 2022 47 mins

In this episode we explore the next-gen mentality of plastic technology with experts from one of the largest custom thermoformers in North America, Plastic Ingenuity. Brandon Abernathy, a technical sales engineer, and Zach Muscato, a sustainability champion, represent Plastic Ingenuity which serves customers in the food, consumer goods, and medical industries for their plastic packaging needs. Our society's overconsumption of ...

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You might have heard about meat without the animal; but have you heard about wood without the tree? In this episode we are introduced to the concept of lab-grown furniture, and in particular, lab-grown wood, by Ashley Beckwith, mechanical engineering PhD Candidate at MIT and Draper Scholar. Ashley is developing a novel method for producing wood by culturing Zinnia elegans plant cells into different desired shapes. Her work was publ...

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In this episode we are joined by Edwina Huang, CEO and Founder of Vivify Textiles and Phoenxt, two fabric and textile waste recycling startups. She shares her personal journey and motivations for starting these companies, introduces us to the three main categories of textile recycling, and offers her predictions on the future of the textile industry. Edwina works closely with the fashion industry and offers many insights on sustain...

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Dr. Sydney Gladman joins me today to discuss her work as Chief Scientific Officer at the Material Innovation Initiative, featured in the first episode. One of Sydney’s first initiatives as CSO is to perform an in-depth review on the unique properties of each of the materials MII is focused on replacing, starting with silk. She summarized her findings in the recent Silk Report, which we dive into thoroughly during this episode. In p...

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Rita Chuang is a chemistry graduate from UC Berkeley now serving as Project Lead at a Japanese biotech company called Spiber Inc. Spiber was founded in 2007 with the goal of replicating spider silk and its superior mechanical properties by fermenting fibrous silk proteins in microorganisms instead of farming silkworms or spiders. Rita is now working in frontiers development at Spiber on some of their highly innovative projects to d...

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In this episode, I am joined by Nicole Rawling, CEO and co-founder of the Material Innovation Initiative (MII).  Nicole tells us how and why MII got started in 2019, and her story behind  how she went from practicing law to starting a material science organization. She delineates the basic technologies that are currently being used to replace animal-derived materials such as silk, leather, fur, down feathers, and exotic skins used ...

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September 16, 2021 2 mins
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