Silk ink can produce medical gloves that sense bacteria

Silk ink can produce medical gloves that sense bacteria

A joint research team led by biomedical engineers at the Tufts University in the United States has developed a silk ink containing enzymes, antibiotics, antibodies, nanoparticles, and growth factors to produce smart bandages, gloves that can sense bacteria, and other medical products. , making inkjet printing technology a new and more effective tool for the therapeutic, regenerative medicine and biosensing fields. This achievement was published in advance in the online version of "Advanced Materials" magazine.

Polybutadiyne, which senses bacteria, is printed with the word contaminated on surgical gloves. When exposed to E. coli, the original blue word turns red.

The idea of ​​using biomolecules for ink jet printing as "ink" is not new, but the thermal sensitivity of these labile compounds can quickly cause printed materials to lose functionality, greatly limiting their usefulness. However, the purified silk protein is different. Its inherent strength and protective properties are very suitable for various applications in biomedical and optoelectronics.

The research paper's senior author, Fiorenzo Omenito, deputy dean of Tufts University’s School of Engineering, said that this natural polymer is an ideal “cockroach” that can keep enzymes, antibodies and growth factors and other compounds stable. “We believe that if we can develop a silk ink that can be ink jet printed, we have a common building block that can generate a print format with different functions, bring a variety of applications, and use The ink stays active for a long time."

According to the Daily Scientific News report on the 17th, the team of Almenito used the same basic materials to create a functional "silk ink custom library" that was doped with various components and tested them. For example, using a polybutadiyne that senses bacteria, the surgical gloves are printed with the word contaminated. When exposed to E. coli, the original blue word turns red; the protein BMP that will stimulate bone growth -2 printed on a plastic dish to test the directional control of tissue growth; printing ampicillin sodium on the bacterial culture to test the effectiveness of antibiotic distribution; printing gold nanoparticles on paper, promising for photonics and biology Learning (eg, color engineering, surface plasmon resonance imaging based on sensing and bioimaging, etc.); Enzymes printed on paper to test the ability of silk ink to carry functional small biomolecules.

Researchers believe that this technology has a wide range of research and application prospects. According to Omenito, future biosensor gloves can selectively respond to different pathogens. Smart bandages can introduce antibiotics for targeted treatment of complex injuries.

Currently published research is limited to one cartridge, but the researchers said that in the future it could be extended to more complex multi-cartridge printing.

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