Exploiting Generative Design for 3D Printing of Bacterial Biofilm Resistant Composite Devices

Yinfeng He, Meisam Abdi, Gustavo F. Trindade, Belén Begines, Jean Frédéric Dubern, Elisabetta Prina, Andrew L. Hook, Gabriel Y.H. Choong, Javier Ledesma, Christopher J. Tuck, Felicity R.A.J. Rose, Richard J.M. Hague, Clive J. Roberts, Davide S.A. De Focatiis, Ian A. Ashcroft, Paul Williams, Derek J. Irvine, Morgan R. Alexander, Ricky D. Wildman

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


As the understanding of disease grows, so does the opportunity for personalization of therapies targeted to the needs of the individual. To bring about a step change in the personalization of medical devices it is shown that multi-material inkjet-based 3D printing can meet this demand by combining functional materials, voxelated manufacturing, and algorithmic design. In this paper composite structures designed with both controlled deformation and reduced biofilm formation are manufactured using two formulations that are deposited selectively and separately. The bacterial biofilm coverage of the resulting composites is reduced by up to 75% compared to commonly used silicone rubbers, without the need for incorporating bioactives. Meanwhile, the composites can be tuned to meet user defined mechanical performance with ±10% deviation. Device manufacture is coupled to finite element modelling and a genetic algorithm that takes the user-specified mechanical deformation and computes the distribution of materials needed to meet this under given load constraints through a generative design process. Manufactured products are assessed against the mechanical and bacterial cell-instructive specifications and illustrate how multifunctional personalization can be achieved using generative design driven multi-material inkjet based 3D printing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2100249
JournalAdvanced Science
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 4 Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D printing
  • bacterial biofilm resistant
  • cell instructive
  • generative design
  • multi-material

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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