The cover page from the July 2016 issue of the Journal of Imaging Science and Technology (JIST) features a paper from Dr. Jorge Rodriguez, a lecturer in mechanical engineering. The paper is titled “Growth-Inhibitory Effect of Chemotherapeutic Drugs Dispensed by Inkjet Bioprinting on Cancer and Non-Cancer Cells”. The objective of the research, that was reported in the paper, was a proof of concept using a modified inkjet printer to have a more accessible and miniature cellomic anticancer drug-screening platform.
Thermal inkjet technology has long been used in the printing industry, but little has been studied on the benefits that it can provide to the drug-screening field. The objective of the work reported here was a proof of concept of using a modified inkjet printer to have a more accessible and miniature cellomic anticancer drug-screening platform. The authors’ previous findings have shown that inkjet-based screening can reliably create isolated arrays of spots of living cells and antibiotics at low volume (180 pl) and high throughput (213 spots/sec) [J. I. Rodríguez-Dévora, B. Zhang, D. Reyna, Z. D. Shi, and T. Xu, “High throughput miniature drug-screening platform using bioprinting technology,” Biofabrication 4, 035001 (2012)]. The methodology of the work reported here included using a modified office inkjet printing device; the authors studied the inhibitory effects of dichloroacetate sodium (DCA) over hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2) and epithelial cells (EpC). A DCA drug concentration gradient was printed over cell cultures to evaluate the drug’s cytotoxic effect. Half maximal and ninety percent inhibitory concentrations (IC50, IC90) were obtained from the dose‐response curves and compared with concentrations obtained using the traditional micropipetting technique. The resulting inhibitory concentration values obtained by both dispensing techniques fall within the millimolar range. The significance of these finding is that the proposed screening platform closely mimics the traditional screening outcome at a miniaturized volume rate, thus downsizing the screening process from traditional sub-microliter to nano- or even picoliter range. Inkjet technology shows promise in miniaturizing and expediting the drug-screening process. This platform can be used to asses a preliminary dose‐response curve in order to improve the treatment modalities using the patient’s limited supply of biopsied cells toward personalized medicine.