DIY bioprinter can use E coli ink to print

first_imgThough bioprinters — or even 3D bioprinters — exist in some sort of limited fashion, they tend to be quit expensive, and require very specialized know-how to operate. Now, a new printer from biotech hackerspace BioCurious has been made available to everyone, but there’s a catch: You have to build it yourself.The instructions to build the bioprinter, provided by computational biology researcher Patrick D’haeseleer, are available in full on Instructables, and aren’t exactly a walk in the printer-building park. Rather than creating custom hardware, D’haeseleer built the printer out of parts of an HP 5150 Inkjet printer, as well as some CD drives.Whereas a more standard 3D printer would use some kind of resin as its printing material, bioprinters tend to use live cells. Amusingly, the resolution of the Inkjet is too high, and it uses nozzles that are too small for a complex cell to fit through. So, D’haeseleer swapped out the smaller nozzles for wider ones using InkShield, going from 23 microns in diameter to 85 microns. With the bigger nozzles, a variety of cells can pass through the printer, such as human, plant, and yeast cells. It can even print using everyone’s favorite bacterium that can be found on one in six phones, E. coli, as ink:Though you’d require a hefty amount of know-how before you can actually do anything yourself with this printer, it is something that can be built from spare parts rather than the standard expensive equipment only found in a lab. D’haeseleer plans to make additions to the bioprinter, upgrading it with the capability to use scaffolding, which would create something of a 3D bioprinter.The field of bioprinting may be less populated than 3D printing, but this relatively cheap DIY printer could be just the thing to kick production into a higher gear.via Wiredlast_img read more