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Ink-Jet Printing of Encapsulated Bacteria

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 February 2011

Faith Marie Coldren
Affiliation:
coldfm3@wfu.edu, Wake Forest University, Physics, 100 Olin Physical Lab, 7507 Reynolda Station,, Winston-Salem, NC, 27109-7507, United States, 336-758-4984, 336-758-6142
John B. McGuirt
Affiliation:
mcgujb2@wfu.edu, Wake Forest University, Physics, Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials, Winston-Salem, NC, 27109-7507, United States
Nicole Levi
Affiliation:
nlevi@wfubmc.edu, Wake Forest University, Physics, Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials, Winston-Salem, NC, 27109-7507, United States
Elizabeth Palavecino
Affiliation:
epalave@wfubmc.edu, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Pathology, Winston-Salem, NC, 27157, United States
David L. Carroll
Affiliation:
carroldl@wfu.edu, Wake Forest University, Physics, Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials, Winston-Salem, NC, 27109-7507, United States
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Abstract

Even though viability for printed bacteria has been demonstrated, the effect of thermal ink-jet printing on cellular ultrastructures is unknown. Retention of viability is useful when colony growth is desired. However, when bacteria are isolated from a human infection they often exhibit characteristics that can be lost when grown in standard laboratory cultures. Ideally, individual bacteria from an infection could be printed and studied without extensive culturing or processing.

We have investigated the gram-positive organism Staphylococcus aureus and the extracellular polymeric ultrastructure that encapsulates the bacterial cell. The capsule is composed of cell-wall associated polysaccharides. Our goal was to use ink-jet printing to spatially control the placement of S. aureus, without affecting the extracellular ultrastructure. Observation by scanning electron microscopy comparing the integrity and uniformity of encapsulated S. aureus before and after thermal ink-jet printing suggests that the capsule is disrupted, possibly completely removed, during printing.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2006

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References

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