[Video]How mature is 3D printing?

 3D printing has attracted more and more attention from scientific research to engineering personnel in recent years. Because without using traditional tools, jig, machine tool or any form of mould, it can generate three-dimensional CAD graphics designed by computer, which can directly and effectively shorten the cycle of product research and development. In the future, 3D printing will play an important role in civil and military areas.

 Recently, the Federal Institute of technology in Zurich, Switzerland, added living bacteria to the hydrogel to develop a bacterial ink known as “Flink”, which can be printed by 3D to form the desired shape and structure, demonstrating the function of degradation of pollutants and the production of medical cellulose.

3D printing materials are generally plastic, metal powder, etc. it is still difficult to construct complex three-dimensional structures using biological materials such as bacteria. Flink bacterial ink uses biocompatible hydrogel as the structure body. The hydrogel consists of hyaluronic acid, k- carrageenan and gas phase silica. It has a certain viscoelastic and shear thinning characteristics, and can achieve structural recovery. 3D can form arbitrary shape and structure, and provide active substances for bacterial growth at the same time. In the hydrogel, the researchers added odorous Pseudomonas and Acetobacter respectively as the active body. These two bacteria belong to gram-negative bacilli,and  the former can be used to degrade the phenol waste in chemical production, and the latter can be used to synthesize bacterial cellulose and make artificial skin or other biofilms.

This kind of bacterial ink can be made into a complex structure of bioactive materials, and the variety of bacteria can be changed to different functions. It has great potential in the fields of burn, pain relief, skin and organ transplantation, chemical degradation and other fields.