Development of bio-ink based on plant proteins for 3D printing

Problem Statement

  • High wastage of food processing side-streams, which are ‘power packed’ with high plant proteins & fiber content
  • Cost, risk of animal disease & irreproducibility of animal protein composite bio-ink & scaffold for 3D cell culture applications
  • Limited range of off-the shelf bioscaffold to meet the varied growth microenvironment needed for different cell types.
  • Absence of bio-ink that enable non-invasive monitoring of biodegradation profile of printed scaffold; resulting in cost and cruelty of ‘sacrificing’ animals when scaffold are implanted.


  • To reclaim proteins from food processing ‘wastes’ or side-streams, as a source of natural proteins that have the cell growth conducive properties but not the issues of animal proteins, for formulation into Plant Protein Composite (PPCTM)Bio-ink.
  • Development of PPCTM bioinks with molecular markers that allows real-time, non-invasive monitoring of biodegradability of the bio-scaffolds.
  • 3D printing of PPCTM scaffold with large surface area and diverse patterns for 3D cell culture applications.

Reclaiming plant proteins as ingredients for 3D bioink to print 3D scaffolds.
Reclaiming plant proteins as ingredients for 3D bioink to print 3D scaffolds.

Key Benefits/Outcomes

  • Developed a series of PPCTM bioinks – PCL (Polycaprolactone) /zein and PCL/gliadin composite bio-inks; and world’s only molecularly tagged bio-ink that enable real-time, non-invasive biodegradability monitoring.
  • Demonstrated printability of the PPCTM bio-ink with a proprietary built EHDJ (electrodhydrodynamic jet) printer.
  • Demonstrated ability to print 3D PPCTM scaffold of large surface area, unique multi-scale gradient & patterns with enhanced & efficient cell adhesion, migration, and proliferation; and biodegradability can be monitored in real-time, non-invasively.
  • Demonstrated that the mechanical strength of PPCTM scaffolds printed by proprietary EHDJ printer with developed PPCTM bio- inks has dose-responsive improvement on degradation.
  • Generated 2 publications and multiple patent applications, positioning KosmodeHealth as developer of the world’s only PPCTM bio-ink/ PPCTM scaffold & molecular tagged 3D scaffold that permits real-time, non invasive biodegradability monitoring.
  • KosmodeHealth received Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) to scale up the 3D bio-printing capabilities and commercialize the plant protein composite (PPC) scaffold for cell culture applications.


Potential Application

  • Customization of PPCTM bio-ink for different types of bioprinters and 3D cell culture development
  • Application of ‘off-the shelf’ PPCTM bioscaffold and customized 3D printing of scaffold to defined specifications needed for 3D cell culture of cells for tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, cancer research, drug discovery development.
  • Application of plant based scaffold for meat culture and development




Mr. Marc Lee –

Dr. Ooi Thian Ngan –