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Cell and organ printing 1: protein and cell printers.

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Department of Bioengineering, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina 29634, USA.


We have developed several devices for positioning organic molecules, molecular aggregates, cells, and single-cell organisms onto solid supports. These printers can create stable, functional protein arrays using an inexpensive technology. The cell printer allows us to create cell libraries as well as cellular assemblies that mimic their respective position in organs. The printers are derived from commercially available ink-jet printers that are modified to dispense protein or cell solutions instead of ink. We describe here the modifications to the print heads, and the printer hardware and software that enabled us to adapt the ink-jet printers for the manufacture of cell and protein arrays. The printers have the advantage of being fully automated and computer controlled, and allow for the high-throughput manufacture of protein and cell arrays.

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