Researchers are developing new 3D printing technologies for designing biofilms

The Meyer Lab at the University of Rochester can synthetically manipulate and study biofilms made from E. coli bacteria by printing bioinks on LB agar plates with a single nozzle. Credits: University of Rochester Photo / J. Adam Fenster

Anne S, an associate professor of biology at the University of Rochester. Meyer and her collaborators at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands recently developed 3D printing technology for designing and studying biofilms (three-dimensional communities of microorganisms such as bacteria). It adheres to the surface. This research provides important information for creating synthetic materials and developing drugs to combat the adverse effects of biofilms.

Biofilms can be both harmful and beneficial to humans. Biofilms can coat the surface of materials and objects. Medical equipment— And cause infections, they are resistant to many drugs and disinfectants.However, biofilms can be decomposed Toxic chemicals And environmental pollutants, making them useful in areas such as wastewater treatment.

Their latest study was published in a journal ACS Synthetic Biology, Meyer and her colleagues show that artificial biofilms can behave like natural ones. Researchers have developed a 3D printing technology that enables the synthetic design and study of biofilms made from Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria.This technology allows researchers to better study the properties of biofilms and allows them to take advantage of their beneficial aspects to fight them. Harmful effects..

“This paper shows that our engineered biofilms can behave like native biofilms in many respects, including showing urgent drug resistance.

Researchers are developing new 3D printing technologies for designing biofilms

Graduate student Ram Gona designed a 3D bioprinter that creates biofilms using technology developed by Anne S. Meyer, a professor of biology at the University of Rochester, and a collaborator at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. Credits: University of Rochester / J. Adam Fenster

This work is the latest in a series of research efforts led by Meyer’s lab for development. Synthetic material It imitates nature. These materials are used in a variety of applications in the energy, medical, technology and fashion sectors. The Meyer group has developed artificial nacre and graphene using bacteria, as well as other 3D printing technologies, including new bioprinting techniques for printing algae on live photosynthetic materials.

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For more information:
Srikkanth Balasubramanian et al, Emergent Biological Endurance Depends on Extracellular Matrix Composition of Three-Dimensionally Printed Escherichia coli Biofilms, ACS Synthetic Biology (2021). DOI: 10.1021 / acssynbio.1c00290

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