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Materials

Start-up pursues animal-free leather

by Melody M. Bomgardner
October 2, 2017 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 95, ISSUE 39

Provenance Biofabrics has licensed technology to create leather from cells from the University of California, San Francisco. The technique, which is based on principles of directed self-assembly of collagen molecules, was developed by UCSF’s Zev Gartner, an associate professor of pharmaceutical chemistry and cofounder of Provenance. The leather is made from fibrils of collagen that are cross-linked for strength. The material can be molded and shaped into traditional leather or made to mimic skins of other animals, like alligators. Another start-up, Modern Meadow, is also working to commercialize lab-grown leather products.

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