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Bioink composition for inkjet printing

Country of Origin: Spain
Reference Number: TOES20161214006
Publication Date: 14 December 2016


A Spanish technology center with strong materials division has developed an ink composition for a better deposition of small molecules of biological interest with inject printing applied to molecular biology. The center is looking for industrial partners for license and technology cooperation agreements to co-develop sensing tests.


A Spanish research center, specialized in enhancing the competitiveness of enterprises and society through applied research, innovation and knowledge transfer has developed a composition useful for inkjet printing molecules of biological interest, such as amino acids, peptides, and/or proteins, on a substrate 

The present invention relates to inkjet printing and molecular biology. Inkjet printing is a printing method widely used for printing texts and images on porous surfaces. In recent years, inkjet printing technology has been applied to the field of biology, in order to develop nucleic acid or protein arrays.

The gene chips are typically generated using fountain pens with split nibs with which a droplet of diluted solution is collected and deposited on a pretreated foil, with a resolution of approximately 100µm. Additionally, conventional printers for depositing DNA on membranes at 300 dpi have been described, using a “bubble-jet” printing type, without apparent DNA degradation, to print them on glass, on a circular array of antigens on a polycarbonate CD for immunoassays and in an enzyme array on paper filters.
There are other additional applications in tissue engineering, as well as in the modification of polymeric surfaces, which allows or prevents the cells from binding locally.
Inkjet printing technology has also been applied in the manufacture of biosensors.

However, one of the main limitations of using inkjet printing applied in the field of molecular biology is to prevent the denaturalization/loss of function of the component to be printed (either nucleic acid, protein, cell, etc).
Therefore, despite the progress made in inkjet printing related to the field of molecular biology, there is a need to find a composition that presents suitable surface tension and viscosity parameters for use in printing, without being adversely affected the stability of the molecule to be printed or its binding to the substrate to which is applied.

The BioInk technology consists of a mixture of chemicals that allows the deposition of small amounts of molecules of biological interest on a variety of surfaces.
If these molecules can bind to labelled molecules applied on top of them, the system can be part of a detection device.

The technology has applications in different sectors:
- The most valuable uses of bioink in health will come from point-of-care devices, in applications such as diagnostic or monitoring tools.
- Bioink applications in the Food sector will be price competitive and provide valuable and accurate results on food quality standards.
- Although there exist already some lab-on-a-chip devices for environmental monitoring, the features of bioink may give it an edge, combined with autonomous reporting systems that do not rely on sophisticated interactions.

The technology center is looking for industrial partners in health, food or environment sectors to co-develop sensing devices under technical cooperation agreement. License agreement with those kind of partners are also sought to incorporate the technology to their products or develop new ones.

The composition of BioInk is patented in EU, USA and Japan.

Advantages and Innovations

Tests have shown that the present technology maintains the ability to bind biotin/streptavidin after going through the printing process. 
Some features of BioInk give it an advantage over existing technologies. These include:
- Printing can be personalized into patterns and surfaces
- Covalent binding allows a robust detection ability
- It can be multiplexed to detect several targets simultaneously

These features define a technology platform that is flexible, robust and easy to integrate into current industrial procedures.

Stage Of Development

Available for demonstration

Requested partner

The center is looking for industrial partners in healthcare, food and environment sectors for the co-development (under technical cooperation agreement) or develop (under license agreement) of a sensing test in these sectors.

Kooperationsanfrage stellen