Biosurface engineering through ink jet printing

Mohammad Khan, Deniece Fon, Xu Li, Junfei Tian, John Stanley Forsythe, Gil Garnier, Wei Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


The feasibility of thermal ink jet printing as a robust process for biosurface engineering was demonstrated. The strategy investigated was to reconstruct a commercial printer and take advantage of its colour management interface. High printing resolution was achieved by formulating bio-inks of viscosity and surface tension similar to those of commercial inks. Protein and enzyme denaturation during thermal ink jet printing was shown to be insignificant. This is because the time spent by the biomolecules in the heating zone of the printer is negligible; in addition, the air and substrate of high heat capacity absorb any residual heat from the droplet. Gradients of trophic/tropic factors can serve as driving force for cell growth or migration for tissue regeneration. Concentration gradients of proteins were printed on scaffolds to show the capability of ink jet printing. The printed proteins did not desorb upon prolonged immersion in aqueous solutions, thus allowing printed scaffold to be used under in vitro and in vivo conditions. Our group portrait was ink jet printed with a protein on paper, illustrating that complex biopatterns can be printed on large area. Finally, patterns of enzymes were ink jet printed within the detection and reaction zones of a paper diagnostic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441 - 447
Number of pages7
JournalColloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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