New Live-Cell Printing Technology Resembles Ancient Chinese Woodblocking

(Science Daily) With a nod to 3rd century Chinese woodblock printing, researchers have developed a way to print living cells onto any surface, in virtually any shape. Unlike recent, similar work using inkjet printing approaches, almost all cells survive the process, scientists report in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.¬†Nanomedicine faculty member Lidong Qin, Ph.D is leading the research and he says their approach produces 2D cell arrays in as little as half an hour, printing the cells close together allows the use of many different cell types. They’ve named the technology Block-Cell-Printing, or BloC-Printing.¬†While it is too early to predict the market cost of BloC-Printing, Qin said the materials of a single BloC mold cost about $1. After the mold has been fabricated and delivered, a researcher only needs a syringe, a carefully prepared suspension of living cells, a Petri dish and a steady hand, Qin said.