M30 Micro Imprimante 3D E1396907953901

Researchers develop microbial ink for 3D printing

3D printing didn’t seem futuristic enough to you yet? And how about a “living” 3D printer ink, one that is still microbial? Researchers at Harvard University have published on the Nature Communication site their work on an ink with novel properties, starting with its composition. This 2.0 ink is indeed made from E. coli, which is none other than the nickname of the dreaded Escherichia coli (yes, the kind of bacteria that can be found in our stool!).

M30 Micro 3D Printer E1396907953901

This microbial ink has been genetically modified by bioengineering to obtain the correct properties for a 3D printing ink. The structure of the ink is based on an ascending and hierarchical self-assembly of protein monomers into nanofibers, the networks of nanofibers themselves comprising hydrogels. A few manipulations later, and the researchers obtained a gel that could be used with a 3D printer!

Microbial ink

Ultimately, the scientists working on this project believe it is possible to create a biological ink capable of regenerating itself, which could be of definite interest for uses far from any inhabited land (and therefore far from ink stocks), as during a trip in space or for the colonization of another planet. A sort of unlimited microbial ink stock …

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.