Water-based, highly tunable and biocompatible silk-based bioink


Tufts investigators have developed biopolymer-­based ink formulations that are useful for inkjet printing and other applications.



Preparation of water-based, highly-tunable and biocompatible bioinks remains a challenge. It often requires complicated multistep manufacturing process that is time-­consuming, energy-­intensive and requires relatively large quantities of solvent. Additionally, the original properties of the processed biomaterial are compromised by these processing steps.



Silk processed in an all water-­based, room temperature, neutral pH environment, is mechanically stable, edible, biocompatible, and implantable in the human body. Given the favorable material properties, the use of silk-­based inks can be important for a variety of controlled chemical and biological material fabrication on the micro- and nano-scale.



Silk fibroin inks (functionalized or non-­functionalized) can be filled into any types of liquid-­refillable based cartridge for commercial inkjet printers. High resolution (depending on the specific model of the printer) can be achieved for printers with fine nozzle size and the access to control the nozzle operating performance (e.g., firing voltage and waveform, cleaning cycle, printing temperature). Silk inks are biocompatible, biodegradable and easy to functionalize. They can be printed on numerous surfaces. Silk-­based inks allow incorporation of a variety of additives (e.g., agents or dopants) for functionalization, which can be stabilized within the ink. These bio-­ink compositions may further contain other additives, such as excipients, chelating agents, defoamers, etc. They can be used for a wide range of applications, including but not limited to, optoelectonics, photonics, therapeutics, tissue engineering such as intelligent implants, synthetic biology, and a variety of consumer products.


Features & Applications:

•       Silk based ink

•       High stability

•       Biocompatible

•       Biodegradable

•       Mechanically robust

•       Highly tunable

•       Optoelectronics, photonics, tissue engineering, synthetic biology application, consumer products


IP STATUS  US Patent 10,035,920 issued 7/31/2018 (14/647,470); US Continuation Patent Application 16/029,316 filed 7/6/2018 (allowed).



Licensing Contact

Martin Son