3D Printing with Nucleic Acid Adhesives

By relying on specific DNA:DNA interactions as a “smart glue”, we have assembled microparticles into a colloidal gel that can hold its shape. This gel can be extruded with a 3D printer to generate centimeter size objects. We show four aspects of this material: (1) The colloidal gel material holds its shape after extrusion. (2) The connectivity among the particles is controlled by the binding behavior between the surface DNA and this mediates some control over the microscale structure. (3) The use of DNA-coated microparticles dramatically reduces the cost of DNA-mediated assembly relative to conventional DNA nanotechnologies and makes this material accessible for macroscale applications. (4) This material can be assembled under biofriendly conditions and can host growing cells within its matrix. The DNA-based control over organization should provide a new means of engineering bioprinted tissues.
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