Jill Fehrenbacher

BIOJEWELRY

by , 08/18/05

Bio Jewelry

You probably know how much we love custom-made objects here at Inhabitat, but this might just be a little too personalized: jewelry made from your own bone tissue!

Wired reports that a small team of designers at the Royal College of Art and Kings College in London have figured out a way to extract bone cells from a person’s jaw to create a customized skeletal object.

Yes, that’s what I said. Customized SKELETAL OBJECT. Apparently some couples in England thought that getting wedding bands made out of their own bone tissue would be more romantic than good old-fashioned platinum rings. I suppose it is romantic in that sort of Angelina-Jolie-wearing-a-vial-of-Billy-Bob-Thornton’s-blood kinda way. Romantic and also rather creepy. The inscription on the inside of this ring reads Ab Intra, “from within”.

“I love the idea that it’s precious only to us because it is, literally, us,” says Harriet Harris, one of the participants. “It’s almost worthless to anyone else.” That’s one thing you can’t say about platinum.

Goth girl wedding fantasies aside, this opens up a whole new frontier for the use of bio-materials in product design. Strangely enough, the researchers first considered creating bone-made mobile phone covers (?!!), but thankfully settled instead on rings. I wonder what the future holds for other petri-dish grown bio-materials… Clothing made from lab-grown human hair? Furniture made from skin and bone? Hmmm… this is starting to sound a little nightmarish.

The Biojewelry project is a joint effort between designers Mr Kerridge and Nikki Stott from the Royal College of Art in London, and Dr Ian Thompson, a bioengineer from Kings College London.

+ www.biojewelry.co.uk

The BBC has a fascinating article about this on their website.

Via Life Without Buildings via Wired

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In case you folks want to try this at home, Wired lays out the process in the following steps:

1. Extract bone chips from jaw. Rinse.

2. Place bone cells in ring-shaped bioactive ceramic scaffold.

3. Feed liquid nutrients and culture in a temperature-controlled bioreactor for six weeks.

4. After coral-like bone forms fully around scaffold, pare down to final ring shape and insert silver liner (for engraving).

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2 Comments

  1. Rachell August 31, 2005 at 7:36 pm

    Okay, I really like unique, ultra-personal, one-of-a-kind things….but I am not going to scar up my JAW in time for my wedding day in order to have the most exclusive ring around. Neat idea, though: I doubt anyone would steal your bone and try to pawn it!

  2. Wolly Bud August 19, 2005 at 10:46 am

    Agh!
    Why not just a tooth?

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