Inkjet Printing of Materials with Resistance to Bacterial Attachment

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Begines, B.
Hook, A.L.
Wildman, R.D.
Tuck, C.J.
Alexander, M.R.

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University of Texas at Austin


Biofilm formation on the surface of medical devices is a major source of health-care associated infections. The discovery of new materials that inherently avoid formation of such biofilms on their surface points the way to the fabrication of biofilm resistant devices, with the consequent reduction in the incidence rate of device centred infections and therefore a reduction in suffering and costs for health-care systems. Drop on Demand (DOD) Three Dimensional (3D) Inkjet Printing presents higher versatility than common techniques for printing biomaterials. One of the main representations of this enhanced versatility is polymerisation post-jetting, which provides a great range of printable polymers. The combination of such materials with inkjet printing could revolutionise the biomedical industry. In this paper, the printability of four acrylates with resistance to bacterial attachment was assessed using the printability indicator or Z parameter. Three of the materials showed a value of Z within the printability range. The remainder displayed a Z value higher than the maximum suggested. However, this material was ejected with stability using a complex waveform designed for low viscosity inks. Drop spacing was optimised for each ink using PET and glass as substrates. The combination of printability optimisation together with ideal drop spacing allowed the construction of 3D structures of three of the four inks that were tested.


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