Mod Your Inkjet Into a Bioprinter
Researchers at Clemson University have made an interesting discovery with their inkjet printer. At several other labs, inkjet printers have been used to print cells into specific patterns on different substrates, but they had never noticed a side effect the process was having on the cell membranes. For a few hours after being printed, there are defects in the membrane just large enough to fit molecules in that would not fit otherwise.
Initially the researchers just wanted to visualize changes to the cytoskeletion of a cell when forces are applied to it. This printing method was used to deposit the fluorescent molecules into the cells that are needed to observe any changes. One of the reason bioprinters are used in research is because of their ability to work on thousands of cells in just a matter of minutes. With this discovery, we may see more laboratories using bioprinters in the future.
If you would also like a bioprinter (and really, who wouldn’t) the protocol for modding an HP DeskJet 500, along with a video demonstrating some of it, you can follow this link from the Journal of Visualized Experiments: Creating Transient Cell Membrane Pores Using a Standard Inkjet Printer.