The ability to 3D print bacteria has relevance to a wide range of applications, ranging from developing novel anti-microbial modalities to probiotics for promoting human health. Traditional culture techniques used in microbiology such as agar plates and suspension cultures have limited spatio-temporal control over the bacteria microenvironment as well as their interaction partners, in particular, mammalian host cells.
This project aims to bridge this technological gap by combining 3D printing and microfluidics technologies to spatially control the localisation of multiple microbial and mammalian cells in customizable, functionalized 3D milieu that are not only supportive of the individual cell types but also allow them to interact with each other. Through this effort, we expect to develop new classes of 3D printing bioinks and advanced in vitro culture systems that will enable new insights into how specific gut microbes modulate the functions of their mammalian host cells.
This project seeks to exploit of new class of liquid-like solid (known as yield-stress fluids) bioinks to support the culture of aerobic and anerobic bacteria. Student will learn to formulate the bioinks with the required nutritional composition and perform rheological characterization to determine the printability of the bioink.
For more information contact Yi-Chin Toh.