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A project log for biotINK - the bioprinter of tomorrow

a novel DIY bioprinter via hijacking an ordinary 3D printer

Julian HofmannJulian Hofmann 09/26/2016 at 19:240 Comments

Have you wondered how to test your fancy new bioprinter once its done?

Well don't fear, we got you covered!


the chemical stuff

There is this (not really) magical substance called "Alginate".

And just in case someone fears this neat polysaccharid might be some dangerous chmical, don't worry, it's made (suprise, suprise! :) ) from algea and other seaweeds. It's used all the time as a natural thickening and jelling agent for such things as ice cream. And then there is of course also Molecular gastronomy...

You can get it easily online or in a well equipped grocery store!


the recipe

So that is how you do it:

  1. Decide how much volume of "ink" you want
  2. Calculate the amount of alginate you need for a 0.5% w/v solution (e.g. 1 g for 200 mL)
  3. Slowly stir it into water, otherwise it will clump a little
  4. Optional: Add food coloring to your "ink", it will look pretty fancy

Your solution should always be stored in the fridge, otherwise it will go bad just like e.g. milk

Next up is the reservoir with the "curing solution" to print into. It's just some Calcium citrate, also a common food additive you can by online quite easily.

Just dissolve the amount you need for a 2% w/v solution. It will be way more soluble than the alginate by the way ;)

Well, yeah .... that's basically all you need!

Inject the "ink" into the bath of Calcium citrate and congratulations to a wurst of alginate. Now let's see how the printer handles it!

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