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3D-printed wearable biosensors for sun protection—Research team from Clarkson University

A novel ink design includes titanium nanoparticles, which, once exposed to ultraviolet light, undergo a photocatalytic reaction with colored dyes, causing the gel to change color. A research team from Clarkson University said, using their new mixture, the scientists were able to 3D print skin-friendly biosensors, allowing users to minimize any damage caused by potential overexposure to sun light.

Silvana Andreescu, one of the authors of the paper, said: “Since 3D printers have become cheap and easy to use, we decided to explore the ability of bio-3D printing to make these wearable UV-responsive sensors. When [the sensor’s] titanium is activated by ultraviolet rays such as sunlight, the dye will degrade and change color, indicating exposure.”

Researchers from Clarkson University in New York have developed a customized bio-ink and deployed it in a series of skin-compatible bio-3D printed sensors.

In order to make their biosensors possible, according to China 3D Printing Network. Researchers must first create a new type of bio-ink, which consists of photosensitive titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles and multicolor dyes dispersed in a hydrogel. Alginate and gelatin are also added to the mixture to give it the viscosity required for 3D printing and a gel-like texture to give it mechanical stability.

TiO2 was chosen because of its photocatalytic ability, which enables it to decompose organic materials through a series of reduction-oxidation chain reactions. In a scaled-down version of this mechanism, the research team sought to trigger the decomposition of green, orange, and blue dyes in the sensor after exposure to ultraviolet radiation.

After the scientists used CAD software to optimize the equipment design, they used the Allevi 2 3D bioprinter to create a series of basic prototypes and then tested them. In order to evaluate the mechanical stability and uniformity of 3D printing equipment, the research team performed nanoindentation on them along five different points.

A visual representation of the reaction of the sensor titanium particles to ultraviolet light. Picture from the journal “Applied Materials and Interface”.

In order to make their biosensors possible, according to 3dprintingindustry.com. Researchers must first create a new type of bio-ink, which consists of photosensitive titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles and multicolor dyes dispersed in a hydrogel. Alginate and gelatin are also added to the mixture to give it the viscosity required for 3D printing and a gel-like texture to give it mechanical stability.

The researchers 3D printed their biopolymer-based sensors using an Allevi 2 3D printer. Image via Allevi Inc.

TiO2 was chosen because of its photocatalytic ability, which enables it to decompose organic materials through a series of reduction-oxidation chain reactions. In a scaled-down version of this mechanism, the research team sought to trigger the decomposition of green, orange, and blue dyes in the sensor after exposure to ultraviolet radiation.

After the scientists used CAD software to optimize the equipment design, they used the Allevi 2 3D bio printer to create a series of basic prototypes and then tested them. In order to evaluate the mechanical stability and uniformity of 3D printing equipment, the research team performed Nano indentation on them along five different points.

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