From plastic surgery for cosmetic reconstruction to the creation of artificial organs, three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting is frequently used in our lives. However, due to their innate rheological and structural characteristics, many biopolymers, including nucleic acids, polysaccharides, and proteins, are difficult to form into a desirable 3D shape at the submicron- or nanoscale. A team of scientists has created an innovative 3D printing strategy that directly permits the precise writing and patterning of diverse biopolymers with complete mechanical stability and functional integrity.
The team has developed a revolutionary 3D printing technique that sequentially confines, evaporates, and solidifies a biopolymer-containing solution to maintain diverse biopolymers’ folding structure and molecular function.
This method can create 3D biopolymeric constructions with precisely controlled size and shape at submicron precision, regardless of the type of biopolymer used. Additionally, it enables the printed biopolymers to perform their own desired activities, leading to the precise localization of spatiotemporal bio functions, such as molecular recognition and catalytic reactions.
Utilizing the idea that pure biopolymer-containing solutions evaporate and solidify at the molecular level regardless of the type of biopolymer, this 3D printing strategy can be used in various industries.
This study is significant because it demonstrated for the first time that 100% functional and structurally active biopolymers might be printed in ultrafine 3D structures. Printing different materials with different optical and electrical properties, including complex materials like quantum dots and carbon nanotubes, has the potential to be added to its scope.
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