Building blocks made from biological parts

Each building block is a miniature droplet, created using unique chemistry. We can give the droplets function by including cells, proteins, chemicals including growth factors, and matrix proteins.

Building blocks made from biological parts



Protein on demand

Functional droplets 3D printed into biomaterials

Each droplet is the same size as a large cell and can be positioned with sub-micron accuracy to create tissues.



Highly detailed patterns are possible

We are able to use multiple inks to create highly detailed tissues made from different bio-inks. These bio-inks can be living cells, non-living biomolecules, or hybrids.

Highly detailed patterns are possible<



Droplets can mount membrane proteins

Droplets can mount membrane proteins

Bilayer membranes exist between droplets. Membrane proteins can be mounted to create non-living networks that have novel functions.



Synthetic Biology ‘Retina’

Droplets containing light detecting proteins were assembled into an array to create a non-living retina that can see shapes in real time.

Image courtesy of Prof Bayley at the University of Oxford

Restrepo-Schild et al. Light-Patterned Current Generation in a Droplet Bilayer Array. Scientific Reports volume 7, Article number: 46585 (2017)

Synthetic Biology ‘Retina’



Non-living materials that produce protein

Non-living materials that produce protein

Droplets containing bespoke triggers and DNA can be linked to cell-free expression to produce proteins on demand from a non-living system.

Image courtesy of Prof Bayley at the University of Oxford

Booth et al. Light-activated communication in synthetic tissuesScience Advances 01 Apr 2016: Vol. 2, no. 4, e1600056



Printing of cells in standardised tissues

Printing of highly viable cells including gene edited cell lines, stem cells and patient biopsy cells. Very small active volumes with high viability, enabling efficient use of valuable cell lines.

Graham et al. High-Resolution Patterned Cellular Constructs by Droplet-Based 3D Printing. Scientific Reports. volume 7, Article number: 7004 (2017)

Synthetic Biology ‘Retina’



Electronic components from biological parts

Electronic components from biological parts

Specific proteins can be used to create networks of droplets that conduct electricity between their neighbours, or only allow only conduction in one direction like a diode.

Images courtesy of Prof Bayley at the University of Oxford

Villar et al. A Tissue Like Printed Material. Science 05 Apr 2013:
Vol. 340, Issue 6128, pp. 48-52