3D Printer Uses 'Living Ink' for a Future in Organ Transplants

Traditional 3D printers use powdery metals and plastics as their ink. Now, functional living ink (or "Flink") made from embedded bacteria could allow 3D printers to make living materials capable of degrading toxins and facilitating organ transplants. Researchers have demonstrated this capability in a recent paper in Science Advances . They printed materials embedded with the bacterium Acetobacter xylinum, which makes cellulose that can be used as scaffolds for skin replacements and coatings for biomedical devices that help protect patients against organ rejections. With Flink, researchers could print these materials in any 3D shape in one step.