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Thread: Printing growth factors with your ink jet printer

  1. #1

    Printing growth factors with your ink jet printer

    Having you ever watched your ink printer do its thing and wonder why this marvelous technology is not used to print growth factors? Well, wonder no longer. These guys did it.

    • Watanabe K, Miyazaki T and Matsuda R (2003). Growth factor array fabrication using a color ink jet printer. Zoolog Sci 20:429-34. Summary: We have developed a novel method for growth factor analysis using a commercial color ink jet printer to fabricate substrata patterned with growth factors. We prepared substrata with insulin printed in a simple pattern or containing multiple areas of varying quantities of printed insulin. When we cultured the mouse myoblast cell line, C2C12, on the insulin-patterned substrata, the cells were grown in the same pattern with the insulin-printed pattern. Cell culture with the latter substrata demonstrated that quantity control of insulin deposition by a color ink jet printer is possible. For further applications, we developed substrata with insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) spotted in 16 different areas in varying combinations and concentrations (growth factor array). With this growth factor array, C2C12 cells were cultured, and the onset of muscle cell differentiation was monitored for the expression of the myogenic regulator myogenin. The ratio of cells expressing myogenin varied with the doses of IGF-I and bFGF in the sections, demonstrating a feasibility of growth factor array fabrication by a color ink jet printer. Since a printer manipulates several colors, this method can be easily applied to multivariate analyses of growth factors and attachment factors affecting cell growth and differentiation. This method may provide a powerful tool for cell biology and tissue engineering, especially for stem cell research in investigating unknown conditions for differentiation. Department of Biological Science, Graduate School of Science, the University of Tokyo.

  2. #2
    Dr. Young, out of curiosity, how far away is this from being used broadly in laboratory settings?

    -Steven

  3. #3
    Steven, I do not know off any other laboratory using this method but it really seemed cool. With this technique, as described, one should be able to print a maze with different arms of the maze containing combinations of cell adhesion molecules, grow cells on the maze and watch how these cells respond and make their decisions concerning where to grow. Wise.

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