Researchers from University of Texas at Austin utilized the binding properties of DNA to create selective glues capable of 3D-printing objects using natural, living materials.
This new programmable DNA so-to-speak was created by calling upon a series of nanoparticles made of either polystyrene or polyacrylamide coated with DNA to allow the two to selectively bind to each other and nothing else, resulting in gel-like materials.
Through this process, the team of researchers has already been able to construct a few rudimentary structures such as the one at the top of this page.
However, since the materials bind together as a direct result of the DNA coating, scientists believe they can easily build larger, more complex structures using the same technique on a larger scale.
In fact, the use of programmable DNA glue to create scaffolds for organic objects, specifically organs, is currently being explored because the researchers have already demonstrated human cells are more than capable of growing in these gels.
If this idea can transform over time from white blobs to artificial organ applications, we may have a major breakthrough on our hands in healthcare and the world of the 3D-printing.