Inkjet based 3D printing of bespoke medical devices that resist bacterial biofilm formation

Yinfeng He, B. Begines, J. Luckett, J.-F. Dubern, A.L. Hook, E. Prina, F.R.A.J. Rose, C.J. Tuck, R.J.M. Hague, D.J. Irvine, P. Williams, M.R. Alexander, R.D. Wildman

Research output: Working paperPreprint


We demonstrate the formulation of advanced functional 3D printing inks that prevent the formation of bacterial biofilms in vivo. Starting from polymer libraries, we show that a biofilm resistant object can be 3D printed with the potential for shape and cell instructive function to be selected independently. When tested in vivo, the candidate materials not only resisted bacterial attachment but drove the recruitment of host defences in order to clear infection. To exemplify our approach, we manufacture a finger prosthetic and demonstrate that it resists biofilm formation – a cell instructive function that can prevent the development of infection during surgical implantation. More widely, cell instructive behaviours can be ‘dialled up’ from available libraries and may include in the future such diverse functions as the modulation of immune response and the direction of stem cell fate.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages34
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Biofilms
  • Cell instructive behaviour
  • Medical Devices
  • Inkjet
  • 3D Printing


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