An interdisciplinary group has come up with an approach for additively manufacturing objects containing living organisms and can regulate them. The team comprised of members from Havard, MIT, and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The procedure depends on multi-material inkjet printing.
The procedure could be utilized to make additively manufacture biomedical machines with inbuilt therapeutic compounds obtained from living cells. The devices include braces.
The project is directed by Neri Oxman from MIT Media Lab. It is popular as hybrid living materials and is attained by mixing adapted additively manufactured elements with biologically engineered microbes. They are painted onto the surface of the printed piece. The response between the microbes and the 3D printed pieces’ chemical composition makes a fluorescent, colorful effect.
The procedure created by the interdisciplinary team includes many pieces. Among the key steps was creating an inkjet additive manufacturing resin. This resin would enable for the living organisms to withstand and develop.
According to the research team, the mixing of structural resin and a dissolvable backing resin offered the needed absorbency. This allowed it to incorporate chemical signs into the elements that function to regulate the alive organism.
The following in making HLMs is to spread hydrogel saturated with biologically engineered bacteria to the printed product. This is by use of a spray-coating method. The substances in the additively manufactured pieces work as signs and stimulate reactions in the engineered microbes.
The response leads to a vivid effect. As stated by the researchers, the shades may take many hours to create. This is as the bacteria develops. However, they finally become steady.
A graduate scholar from the MIT Media Lab, Rachel Soo Hoo Smith said the following: “We can define very specific shapes and distributions of the hybrid living materials and the biosynthesized products, whether they be colors or therapeutic agents, within the printed shapes.”
The group utilized the technique to make a series of experiment forms. This included coin-shaped plates and face covers that were covered with genetically transformed E. coil bacteria. The research team comprised of bioengineering, computer science, and biology experts. It anticipates making a robust design and scalable device for creating objects and tools including living biological components.
“There are exciting practical applications with this approach, since designers are now able to control and pattern the growth of living systems through a computational algorithm,” explains Oxman, Associate Professor at the MIT Media Lab.
“Combining computational design, additive manufacturing, and synthetic biology, the HLM platform points toward the far-reaching impact these technologies may have across seemingly disparate fields, ‘enlivening’ design and the object space.”