Pigs Bladder Football


This article was written on 05 Jan 2012, and is filled under 2012, Lab.

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Pigs Bladder Football 2012

Pig’s Bladder Football moves into a new phase for 2012 – having spent the summer of 2011 researching age-old processes of making footballs from the bladders of pigs which have been slaughtered – we now are looking to the future.

Continuing the collaboration with Abandon Normal Devices, and funded by the Wellcome Trust, I will be working in residence at the Clinical Engineering Unit at the University of Liverpool where, over the course of this year, I will be using processes of animal cell culture to attempt to “grow” a football using living cells.

This is an ambitious project – but not impossible!

We don’t know what size or form the football will take yet (although Professor John Hunt, who is a partner in this work, is insistent that it must bounce!)

The image above shows a flask of one of the cell cultures we are currently maintaining.  Back in November, bone marrow cells were harvested from the knee of a pig which had already been slaughtered and now the are being grown within a medium in the laboratory.

These cells (and millions more) will combine to make a football fitting for the 21st Century.

More information here soon.

John O’Shea, January 2012

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