“Alive” Ink can print, produce and repair itself, this technology is on its way to revolutionize modern technology.
3D printing is on its way to revolutionize modern technology. Scientists have developed a “living ink” that can be used to print structures that can even produce and repair themselves.
This 3D printed ink is “alive” because it is produced through genetically engineered living microorganisms, namely E Coli and other microbes. These microbes were used to create living nanofibers which were combined with other materials to produce ink that can be used in a standard 3D printer.
Living materials have been produced before, but it has always been difficult to fit them into intended 3D structures. This was not an issue here as this living ink is quite easy to use in a standard 3D printer. Using this ink, scientists have already produced materials that release an anti-cancer drug when combined with chemicals while another removes toxins from the environment.
This living ink has great potential beyond medical and anti-pollution uses. Practical uses are still far off in the future, but mass-producing this ink can unlock a range of new possibilities. Scientists are envisioning self-assembling buildings that can repair themselves.
This ink can even manufacture itself if needed, which would reduce the resources needed to build structures in the future. But we will likely have to wait years before it’s ready for practical uses.