Bioprinter Summary

Overall I would consider this summer a huge success! With the extensive help of the Small Maker Space I was able to complete the construction of the bioprinter. While I started out by following the design described by a paper from ODU, I ran into several complications including motors not working, and a power supply shorting out. Eventually enough modifications were made to the printer that it was functional, and I could start printing cells. I printed both a lawn and isolated colonies of e.coli, and I was able to print a Mycobacteria smegmatis bacteriophage that I had isolated.

Working in the Phage lab gave me the opportunity to study M. smeg and its associated phages. A high school student had initially found two M.smeg phages in the soil from the Williamsburg area, and I was able to get them both to plaque pure and create a high titer lysate for them. I was also able to extract their DNA and run a gel on them. Simultaneously I was able to explore M.smeg biofilm formation as I grew multiple biofilms for the purpose of studying phage infection dynamics. A smaller project I also pursued was creating electrocompetent M. smeg cells for the goal of eventually engineering them.

Over the school year I plan to pursue a project to engineer M.smeg phage with the the electrocompetent cells, and to utilize the precise spatial control of the bioprinter.

I would like to thank my mentor Professor Saha for her endless guidance and feedback during this project, along with Small Maker Space and the student engineers who work there for help with the construction of my printer.