3D-printed ‘living ink’ could lead to self-repairing buildings | Engadget

Never mind the 3D printing organs – eventually, the material could have a life of its own. Phys.org reports scientists have developed a “living ink” that you can use to print equally vivid materials that can be used to create 3D structures. The team engineered cells for E. Coli and other microbes to create living nanofibers, joined those fibers together and added other materials to produce an ink that it could use in a standard 3D printer.

Researchers have tried to produce living material before, but it has been difficult to get those substances to conform to the predicted 3D structures. That was not a problem here. Scientists created a material that released one cancer drug when induced with chemicals, while another removed the toxin BPA from the environment. Designs can also be adapted to other tasks.

Any practical use could still be a long way off. It is not yet clear how he would mass produce the ink, for example. However, there is potential beyond immediate medical and anti-pollution efforts. The creators envisioned self-repair buildings or self-assembly materials for buildings on the Moon and Mars that could reduce the need for Earth’s resources. The ink could even be self-made under the right circumstances; you may not need much more than a few basic resources to produce what you need.

All Engadget recommended products are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Leave a Comment