iGEM 2015: Biolayer printer

Themes: Life Science & Health, Chemistry, bio- & process technology

Late lab scale demonstration

A TRL is a measure to indicate the matureness of a developing technology. When an innovative idea is discovered it is often not directly suitable for application. Usually such novel idea is subjected to further experimentation, testing and prototyping before it can be implemented. The image below shows how to read TRL’s to categorise the innovative ideas.

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Biofilm research often uses artificial biofilms, which production is time consuming and difficult to control and reproduce. The 2015 iGEM team has developed the Biolinker that enables biofilm production in a reproducible, controlled, efficient and scalable way.


The Biolinker is a 3D printer for E. coli based biofilms. After printing, the genetically modified E. coli will only form biofilms after prompting with rhamnose. Until then, the ink forms a hydrogel that provides a preliminary structure for the biofilm.


The Biolinker and the ink it uses have been developed for the 2015 iGEM competition, winning first overall prize. In line with iGEM’s goals, the results have been made publicly available.

Ing. Esengül Yildirim


Michelle Post

Max van 't Hof

Stefan Marsden

Tudor Vlas

Samantha Basalo Vazquez

Hector Sanguesa Ferrer

Liana Uilecan

Marit van der Does