Researchers at Australia's Deakin University aim to stop erosion with three-dimensionally (3D)-printed biodegradable lattices made from potato starch derived from industrial waste.
The researchers are planting mangrove seeds within the lattices at coastal sites in Port Phillip Bay and Western Port Bay.
The lattices, 3D-printed in the Netherlands, take two to 10 years to biodegrade; scientists will monitor the mangroves' survival and growth as part of the three-year Regenerating Our Coasts program.
They also will note which conditions encourage regeneration, such as soil type, water conditions, and how roots help plants thrive.
Deakin University's Stacey Trevathan-Tackett suggested the structures could be deployed to protect coastal areas against floods if the test pans out.
From ABC News (Australia)
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