Ink-jet 3D printing as a strategy for developing bespoke non-eluting biofilm resistant medical devices

Yinfeng He, Jeni Luckett, Belen Begines, Jean Frédéric Dubern, Andrew L. Hook, Elisabetta Prina, Felicity R.A.J. Rose, Christopher J. Tuck, Richard J.M. Hague, Derek J. Irvine, Paul Williams, Morgan R. Alexander, Ricky D. Wildman

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Chronic infection as a result of bacterial biofilm formation on implanted medical devices is a major global healthcare problem requiring new biocompatible, biofilm-resistant materials. Here we demonstrate how bespoke devices can be manufactured through ink-jet-based 3D printing using bacterial biofilm inhibiting formulations without the need for eluting antibiotics or coatings. Candidate monomers were formulated and their processability and reliability demonstrated. Formulations for in vivo evaluation of the 3D printed structures were selected on the basis of their in vitro bacterial biofilm inhibitory properties and lack of mammalian cell cytotoxicity. In vivo in a mouse implant infection model, Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm formation on poly-TCDMDA was reduced by ∼99% when compared with medical grade silicone. Whole mouse bioluminescence imaging and tissue immunohistochemistry revealed the ability of the printed device to modulate host immune responses as well as preventing biofilm formation on the device and infection of the surrounding tissues. Since 3D printing can be used to manufacture devices for both prototyping and clinical use, the versatility of ink-jet based 3D-printing to create personalised functional medical devices is demonstrated by the biofilm resistance of both a finger joint prosthetic and a prostatic stent printed in poly-TCDMDA towards P. aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121350
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • 3d printing
  • Biofilms
  • Cell instructive behaviour
  • Ink-jet
  • Medical devices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials


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