Grow Your Bioink

Why grow bioink?

Our dye and ink we use nowadays in industry is polluting our environment and difficult to recycle! Regarding to this environmental pollution problem, we came up with an idea to grow ink from a soil bacteria that naturally produces beautiful pigments. These biosynthesized pigments are organic and recyclable. Our ultimate goal is to integrate the bioink into printers, pens, and the dying process in manufacturing industry.


This exploration is divided into 3 phases:





Grow bacteria that produce pigment and find out the optimal growth conditions and extract the pigments

Integrate into a continuous ink printer

Study the effect of bioink on marine organisms

Materials & Methods

We purchased 4 differnet colored bacteria from Carolina Biological Supply

1. Pigmented Bacteria Set, Tube Cultures, Living (Item #154745)

  • Micrococcus luteus (yellow)
  • Rhodococcus rhodochrous (pink)
  • Sarcina aurantiaca (orange-yellow)
  • Serratia marcescens D1 (red).
carolina pigmented bacteria set

2. Microcentrifuge (4000 rpm)

3. Incubator


Charkoudian LK, Fitzgerald JT, Khosla C, Champlin A (2010) In Living Color: Bacterial Pigments as an Untapped Resource in the Classroom and Beyond. PLoS Biol 8(10): e1000510. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000510

Haddix P.L. and Werner T. F. (2000) Spectrophotometric Assay of Gene Expression: Serratia marcescens Pigmentation. Bioscene. Volume 26(4).

Pigment Formation in L-forms of Serratia marcescens

Extraction, Characterization and Application studies of red pigment of halophile Serratia marcescens KH1R KM035849 isolated from Kharaghoda soil.,%20issue%206/IJPAB-2014-2-6-160-168.pdf