Researchers develop novel 3D printing technique to engineer biofilms
by Staff Writers
Rochester NY (SPX) Dec 06, 2021
Anne S. Meyer, an associate professor of biology at the University of Rochester, and her collaborators at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, recently developed a 3D printing technique to engineer and study biofilms-three-dimensional communities of microorganisms, such as bacteria, that adhere to surfaces. The research provides important information for creating synthetic materials and in developing drugs to fight the negative effects of biofilms.
Biofilms can be both harmful and beneficial to humans: they can coat the surfaces of materials and objects, including medical devices, and cause infections, and they are resistant to many drugs and disinfectants. However, biofilms are able to degrade toxic chemicals and environmental pollutants, making them useful in areas such as wastewater treatment.
In their latest research, published in the journal ACS Synthetic Biology, Meyer and her colleagues show that engineered biofilms can behave like natural ones. The researchers developed a 3D printing technique that allows them to synthetically engineer and study biofilms made of Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria.
The technique will allow researchers to better study the properties of biofilms so they can harness their beneficial aspects and combat their harmful effects.
"This paper shows that our engineered biofilms can behave like native biofilms in many ways-including displaying emergent drug resistance-making them good model systems for anti-biofilm drug development," Meyer says.
The work is the latest in a series of research efforts led by Meyer's lab to develop synthetic materials that mimic nature. The materials have a variety of applications in the energy, medical, technology, and fashion sectors.
The Meyer group has used bacteria to develop artificial nacre and graphene and has additionally developed other 3D printing techniques, including a novel bioprinting technique to print algae into living, photosynthetic materials.
ISRO rife with speculation about human space mission centre, IN-SPACe shift
Chennai, India (IANS) Nov 26, 2021
With speculations and rumours abounding on shifting of its human space mission centre and the headquarters of private sector space regulator Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe), officials of the Indian space agency are worried lot. Serving and retired senior officials of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), speaking on the condition of anonymity, told IANS that there is speculation about shifting the human space mission centre out of Bengaluru and also locatin ... read more
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