Research on light-curing 3D printing microbial active bodies has progressed

In recent years, eutrophication of water bodies has caused serious harm to water ecological balance and human health. Immobilized microbial technology is the use of physical or chemical methods to limit free microbial cells to a certain spatial area, which can not only avoid the erosion and loss of flowing water, recyclable, but also maintain biological activity, and can effectively remove pollutants in water, but it has not been widely used due to the limitations of existing materials and production methods.

3D bioprinting technology is a cutting-edge technology developed by relying on multiple disciplines such as information technology, precision machinery and material science. It can assemble biological materials, living cells, live bacteria and other organisms layer by layer to assemble a complex three-dimensional active body, and can realize the spatial assembly of different functional components, providing new ideas for immobilizing microorganisms. However, the preparation of 3D printed microbial active structural functional bodies with environmental pollutant remediation functions has not been fully studied.

Figure: Lithography 3D printing microbial active structural functional body and its application in sewage treatment

With the support of the Fujian Institute of Physical Structure and the Institute of Urban Environment of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Wu Lixin team of the Fujian Institute of Material Structure of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Yu Changping team of the Institute of Urban Environment of the Chinese Academy of Sciences developed a novel double-network crosslinked PEGDA-alginate-PVA-nanoclay (PAPN) polymer microbial 3D printing ink containing heterotrophic nitrifying bacteria. Using extrusion 3D printing technology, the researchers successfully printed PAPN microbial active functional bodies with the ability to remove ammonia nitrogen from sewage. The 3D printed bioactive functional body can effectively remove 96.2±1.3% ammonia nitrogen from sewage within 12 h, and maintain the microbial activity of removing ammonia nitrogen after 168 h storage in the transportation mode simulated at room temperature and without culture medium, which has the advantages of environmental friendliness, customizable preparation and reuse. This will greatly enhance the application potential of 3D bioprinting technology in water pollution control.

The results were published in the international journal Additive Manufacturing (2022) as “Material extrusion-based 3D printing for the fabrication of bacteria into functional biomaterials: the case study of ammonia removal application” , 60,103268)。 The first author of the paper is Dr. Li Yan, and Professor Wu Lixin and Professor Yu Changping are co-corresponding authors. (Source: Fujian Institute of Structure of Matter, Chinese Academy of Sciences)

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