2015 – Biolink:

Grand Prize Winner and 3 additional prizes

Biolink:  The printing system, called Biolink, can be summarized in the following sentence: biofilm producing bacteria are printed with the help of a flexible scaffold hydrogel. First of all, the homemade bacteria (modified to make biofilms) are mixed with a solution of sodium alginate and subsequently with calcium chloride. There, the Ca2+ molecules keep the structure fixed creating a stable gel. This hydrogel-bacteria mixture is then induced with rhamnose, a sugar specific for our promoter, which makes them synthesize CsgA, the linking molecule. CsgA proteins polymerize to an amyloid structure surrounding the cells and connecting them to each other through the scaffold. Once the cells are all attached in the structure defined by the gel scaffold, it is no longer necessary. Consequently, the hydrogel is dissolved with sodium citrate. But the cells are still connected due to the curli amyloid! So, they obtained a perfectly defined 3D structure made of bacteria.