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A colourful, sustainable resolution for 3D printing

ArtSea Inks and Materials can be utilized to create colourful artwork initiatives and 3-D fashions for science, know-how, engineering, and mathematical use, medical science, and different fields. Credit: Andrea Starr | Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have developed seaweed-based inks and supplies for creating colourful 2D and 3D shapes and fashions.

The innovation is known as ArtSea Inks and Materials. The set of vivid inks—assume a futuristic improve from yesteryear’s eight-pack of Crayola crayons—was developed utilizing seaweed options bolstered with pigments that give it a lustrous end. ArtSea Inks and Materials do not require excessive warmth or unsustainable fossil fuel-laden plastic supplies to supply non-toxic, sturdy buildings.

From biodetection to artwork and training…and past

The roots of ArtSea Inks and Materials started with biodetection in thoughts—particularly, speedy detection and characterization of organic threats—utilizing a mix of strengths in 3D printing, materials design, tissue engineering, and host response.

“We’ve matched this expertise with the concept of 3D printing so we could, for example, develop a novel 3D printed human tissue array to study how harmful microbial pathogens can affect the tissue,” stated Anne Arnold, the researcher who led improvement of ArtSea Inks and Materials. An instance of such a pathogen is Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax and influenza.

Beyond biodetection, the workforce quickly found that ArtSea Inks and Materials could possibly be used for a wider array of functions, corresponding to creating artwork, offering fashions for science, know-how, engineering and arithmetic use, or creating 3D printed medical fashions.

“We’ve discovered it’s a very versatile innovation that reaches beyond biodetection,” stated Sara Hunt, PNNL commercialization supervisor. “The technology can be extended to larger medical corporations, schools, even the “DIYers’ who take pleasure in making their very own creations.”

ArtSea Ink and Materials, developed utilizing a PNNL inside funding program that’s designed to foster innovation and creativity, had been not too long ago featured in Nature after findings had been revealed within the journal ACS Omega.

A colorful, sustainable solution for 3D printing
ArtSea Inks and Materials are extruded from syringe-like applicators to kind colourful 2-D and 3-D buildings. Credit: Andrea Starr | Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Alginate and mica—the key sauce

ArtSea Inks and Materials are known as “bioinks” as a result of they’re produced from alginate, a low-cost, extensively accessible, and non-toxic sodium salt extracted from brown seaweed. The materials types a steady gel with out the necessity for extreme warmth.

To create the bioink, the scientists infuse the pigments, referred to as mica colorants, into the algal extract—imparting vivid colours.

The algal/mica mixture is dissolved in water after which mixed with an answer of calcium chloride. The positively charged calcium ions meld with negatively charged parts of varied polymer strands, forming a viscous tunable “gum” that gives a stability of stiffness and workability to kind steady 3D buildings.

The resolution is then extruded from a syringe-like applicator to kind colourful, finely detailed 2D and 3D buildings. It eliminates the necessity for complicated software program or {hardware} upkeep of a 3D printer.

The bioinks additionally may be formulated to any colour, together with metallic and pearlescent colours, in addition to glow-in-the-dark inks. ArtSea Inks and Materials can be utilized to create representations of organic materials and fashions in addition to incorporate mammalian and bacterial cells into the bioink. The outcomes, for instance, might present buildings that illuminate the lantern of a firefly’s stomach area for finding out the interior workings of that species or depict totally different areas in a human mind for anatomy classes in highschool science lessons.

ArtSea Ink: a colorful, seaweed-based ink for 3D printing

More info:
Anne M. Arnold et al, Pearlescent Mica-Doped Alginate as a Stable, Vibrant Medium for Two-Dimensional and Three-Dimensional Art, ACS Omega (2021). DOI: 10.1021/acsomega.1c01453

From drab to dazzling: seaweed yields glowing colored inks, Nature (2021). DOI: 10.1038/d41586-021-02186-2

A colourful, sustainable resolution for 3D printing (2021, October 7)
retrieved 7 October 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-10-sustainable-solution-3d.html

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