Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Coral Restoration through 3D Printing and Fabrication
AuthorsAlbalawi, Hamed I.
Khan, Zainab N.
Valle-Pérez, Alexander U.
Kahin, Kowther M.
Duarte, Carlos M.
KAUST DepartmentLaboratory for Nanomedicine
Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering (BESE) Division
Red Sea Research Center (RSRC)
KAUST Catalysis Center (KCC)
Physical Science and Engineering (PSE) Division
Marine Science Program
Computational Bioscience Research Center (CBRC)
Embargo End Date2022-09-02
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/670951
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractCoral reef degradation is a rising problem, driven by marine heatwaves, the spread of coral diseases, and human impact by overfishing and pollution. Our capacity to restore coral reefs lags behind in terms of scale, effectiveness, and cost-efficiency. While common restoration efforts rely on the formation of carbonate skeletons on structural frames for supported coral growth, this technique is a rate-limiting step in the growth of scleractinian corals. Reverse engineering and additive manufacturing technologies offer an innovative shift in approach from the use of concrete blocks and metal frames to sophisticated efforts that use scanned geometries of harvested corals to fabricate artificial coral skeletons for installation in coral gardens and reefs. Herein, we present an eco-friendly and sustainable approach for coral fabrication by merging three-dimensional (3D) scanning, 3D printing, and molding techniques. Our method, 3D CoraPrint, exploits the 3D printing technology to fabricate artificial natural-based coral skeletons, expediting the growth rate of live coral fragments and quickening the reef transplantation process while minimizing nursery costs. It allows for flexibility, customization, and fast return time with an enhanced level of accuracy, thus establishing an environmentally friendly, scalable model for coral fabrication to boost restorative efforts around the globe.
CitationAlbalawi, H. I., Khan, Z. N., Valle-Pérez, A. U., Kahin, K. M., Hountondji, M., Alwazani, H., … Hauser, C. A. E. (2021). Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Coral Restoration through 3D Printing and Fabrication. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering. doi:10.1021/acssuschemeng.1c04148
SponsorsThe work was supported by funding from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society (ACS)