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  1. #1
    Sean's Avatar
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    Modified inkjet printer for emulsion coating?

    I had a thought to take a device such as this:



    And replace the continuous flow ink containers with a jug of warmed emulsion. I have heard of biologists modifying printers to print biological material to glass, paper, etc (I am unsure what models they used). From what I have read this material they printed seems to have the consistency of emulsion. If possible this could create an easy to use system that makes perfect coatings on a variety of papers. I would think the emulsion would settle on the paper as well removing any trace of a dot pattern and papers could be run through for double coatings etc. This could be one possible future where we buy jugs of our favorite emulsions then simply use inkjet based technology to coat the paper. The ease of use would be the main attraction by making coating almost effortless with a high degree of quality control. Anyone care to give this a try? I'd have a play but don't have the time to research and modify a machine..

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    hmm, wouldn't this create a 'speckled' image, unless the emuslsion soaks into the paper to join up the dots?

  3. #3
    Sean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbb View Post
    hmm, wouldn't this create a 'speckled' image, unless the emuslsion soaks into the paper to join up the dots?
    There should be a way for the coating to go on slightly more thick, then it will settle into one uniform coat? dunno..

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    Dave Miller's Avatar
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    Now look Sean, if you have nothing better to do than hallucinate then you had better put your wife on-line so that we can ask her to sort out a few chores for you to keep you occupied.
    Regards Dave.

    An English Eye


  5. #5
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Gelatin based emulsions harden as they cool, so it might work for a minute or so before the heads and feed tubes get clogged up, presuming the emulsion isn't too viscous to get through the print heads in the first place. I suppose the heads may stay hot enough to keep the gelatin liquid, but I think the feed tubes would clog before you could coat a large sheet evenly.
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  6. #6
    6x6x9's Avatar
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    How about something like this? http://www.otsm.com/fuji/Q3_PRO_System_op.JPG

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  8. #8
    Sean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    Gelatin based emulsions harden as they cool, so it might work for a minute or so before the heads and feed tubes get clogged up, presuming the emulsion isn't too viscous to get through the print heads in the first place. I suppose the heads may stay hot enough to keep the gelatin liquid, but I think the feed tubes would clog before you could coat a large sheet evenly.
    Sounds like a roadblock but not a show stopper. The containers, tubing and heads will have to be maintained at a certain temp. Might be best to have the container and the head in one piece that is kept warm. Also custom heads may need to be developed. Now who has a few million for R&D?

  9. #9
    Sean's Avatar
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    Some info about cell printing:

    Recent reports have shown that an inkjet printer can be modified to put live cells on to a substrate [7,8]. Xu et al. [8] printed two different kinds of mammalian cells, an epithelial cell line [CHO (Chinese-hamster ovary) cells] and rat embryonic motoneurons, with good viability through the printing process. Survival rates beyond several days, however, appeared to be compromised, indicating potential limitations in this approach. The inkjet printing process is harsh, with very high temperatures (in excess of 300 °C) and shear force (so high it is difficult to measure), generated in the nozzle. Most cells, especially delicate ones like neurons, are likely to be compromised during this process. In addition, because the tip of the nozzle is not much bigger than a cell body (20–30 μm), cells can clog the tip.

    These technical challenges may now have been overcome through the use of a modified version of the inkjet. In this issue of Biochemical Journal, Eagles et al. [9] demonstrate that EHDJ (electrohydrodynamic jet) printing technology can be modified to deposit droplets of living cells from a nervous-system-derived cell line. Applying a voltage of approx. 30 kV between an electrode and the print nozzle causes the contents of the nozzle to be expelled and disperse into droplets. Although the tip of the nozzle in inkjet printing is restricted in size, an EHDJ nozzle can be much larger, reducing the shear force and the chance of clogging. Two exciting findings from this paper are that: (1) CAD cells, a neuron-like cell line, can withstand the applied voltages used in electrospraying, attach to the substrate and remain viable, suggesting that neurons could withstand the printing procedure as well, and (2) 1 month after printing, at least some cells that survived the printing procedure could be induced to extend processes and take on a neuron-like phenotype. Now that living cells from a nervous-system-derived cell line have been printed on to a substrate successfully, the answers to two key questions will test the potential of this new EHDJ technique. The first question addresses the precision with which cell ejection can be controlled. For example, can cells be printed to a specific predetermined spot on a surface? The second question addresses the robustness of the method. Will neurons that have been dissociated directly from nervous system tissue withstand the EHDJ printing procedure? If fragile primary neurons can be printed accurately, then this new method will open the door to high-precision neural-circuit building.

  10. #10
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    That settles it. I'm giving up silver, and from now on will print exclusively Chinese hamster ovaritypes.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
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