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Clemson researchers show how to print cells with your classic HP inkjet

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Researchers at Clemson have helped create a demonstration video on how to mod an ordinary inkjet printer to be able to print living cells.

Inkjet printer hacked to seed living cells
Inkjet printer hacked to seed living cells

Scientists have been taking inspiration from printers for everything from treating burns to recreating cardiac tissue. Researchers at Clemson University have perfected a way to use an ordinary inkjet printer to actually print living cells — and they've put together a how-to guide and video for the Journal of Visualized Experiments to show how it works. Starting with an HP DeskJet 500, researchers empty a normal inkjet cartridge, and then fill it with a solution of suspended cells and fluorescent matter, the combination of which they call "bio-ink." A platform is set up beneath the printer head and layered with slides to receive the output. Using a standard word processor to drive the printer, the inkjet printer then prints the cells onto the waiting slides, and in the process punches holes through the cells, injecting the fluorescent matter. Viewing the result shows a line of cells imbued with the glowing fluorescence. While it's not a hack you'll likely find much practical use for, it's nevertheless a fascinating look at the overlooked potential of some of the consumer technology we take for granted every day. To see the full video, visit the source link below.