Getting motivated to work out isn’t always a breeze. Sometimes all it takes is a funky, upbeat playlist and killer headphones to get the endorphins pumpin’; other times you need a workout buddy to nag you out of making excuses to skip. But if you need another kind of motivator, this amazing sweat-activated workout gear might be just the thing for you.


BioLogic is a project from the MIT Media Lab’s Tangible Media Group that looks at ways of applying science in non-traditional and creative ways. One of its researchers, Lining Yao, started the initiative based on the concept of biological interfaces, which eventually led her to create a new type of clothing called Second Skin.


BioLogic relies on Bacillus subtilis natto, a bacterium that’s commonly used in Japanese cooking and that reacts to atmospheric moisture. Since the hydrophoric “natto cells” expand and contract depending on the amount of humidity in the air, Yao decided to use this as inspiration to create a line of activewear that becomes more breathable as the wearer’s body heat and humidity increase. To do this, she partnered with genius designers from New Balance and the Royal College of Art to make this vision come to life.

Yao and her team turned the reactive natto cells into biofilm, which was then printed in layers onto pieces of spandex — each one with a different pattern in order to help the material rise to different bodily behaviors and movements. The final product is absolutely brilliant, and its scientific success has encouraged Yao to continue exploring further, related research. Who knows that she and her crew’ll come up with next!

What do you think of this project? We’d love to hear how you’re inspired by technological geniuses! Tweet about your thoughts and mention @BritandCo!

(h/t Wired + photos via Rob Chron/MIT)