Project TitleMethods for Fabricating Majority Graphene 3D-Printed Composites and Their Use in Electronic and Biomedical Applications
Track Code2014-136
Short Description

Majority graphene 3D-printed composites and their use in electronic and biomedical applications


The exceptional properties of graphene enable applications in electronics, optoelectronics. energy storage, and structural composites. The realization of these diverse applications is accelerated by the integration of graphene with versatile fabrication technologies. Northwestern scientists have developed a novel printable graphene (3DG) composite consisting of majority graphene and minority polylactide-co-glycolide, a biocompatible elastomer. This ink design allows for room temperature, extrusion-based 3D-printing of graphene structures with features as small as 100 μm. 3DG exhibits robust and flexible mechanical properties, as well as electrical conductivity greater than 800 S/m, the highest reported for 3D-printed carbon-based inks. In vivo and in vitro experiments using human mesenchymal stem cells and neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells reveal that 3DG supports cell viability and proliferation, is biodegradable, and has promising biocompatibility. With this unique combination of properties, 3DG will facilitate the production of electronic, biomedical, and hybrid technologies via additive manufacturing. 

TagsMANUFACTURE/PROCESSES, materials, MATERIALS: graphene/graphite
Posted DateOct 21, 2014 7:16 PM


Mark C. Hersam*
Adam Edward E. Jakus
Ethan B. Secor
Ramille N. (Capito) Shah*


• Flexible electronics 
• Sensors including biosensors
• Implantable (biologically implanted) electronics 
• Bone tissue engineering and regenerative implants .
• Drug delivery 
• Transistors 
• Gas storage

• Neural and muscle tissue engineering, repair, and regeneration
• Complex, musculo-skeletal tissue engineering, repair, and regeneration

• Complex, neuro-musculoskeletal tissue engineering, repair, and regeneration

• Nerve Guide


  • Gas storage 3D materials based on graphene, flexible 3DG objects
  • Highest reported 3DG-printed carbon-based inks
  • Scalable process
  • Potential low cost manufacture and use
  • Rapid Ink synthesis
  • Long-term storage stability of inks
  • Rapid 3D-printing at ambient conditions, no post-processing required
  • Small  (Sub-mm) to large (many cubic cm) objects can be rapidly fabricated
  • 3D printing compatible with our particle-based inks
  • Highest electrical conductivity of any non-metallic biocompatible material ever reported
  • Physical manipulation - Can be: cut, rolled, folded, sutured, wrapped, etc.
  • Highly neurogenic
  • Possibly musculogenic
  • Biocompatible


IP Status

A patent application has been filed. Northwestern seeks to develop the discovery. 

Marketing Contact

Arjan Quist, PhD 
Invention Manager 
(p) (847) 467-0305