Lawrence lab researcher 3D print live cells to convert glucose into ethanol

March 7, 2019 |

In California, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers have 3D printed live cells that convert glucose to ethanol and carbon dioxide gas (CO2), a substance that resembles beer, demonstrating a technology that can lead to high biocatalytic efficiency.

Bioprinting living mammalian cells into complex 3D scaffolds has been widely studied and demonstrated for applications ranging from tissue regeneration to drug discovery to clinical implementation. In addition to mammalian cells, there is a growing interest in printing functional microbes as biocatalysts.

Microbes are extensively used in industry to convert carbon sources into valuable end-product chemicals that have applications in the food industry, biofuel production, waste treatment and bioremediation. Using live microbes instead of inorganic catalysts has advantages of mild reaction conditions, self-regeneration, low cost and catalytic specificity.

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Category: Research

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