Chromophoric micro-organisms produce colored compounds that can be used for paint-making and inks. We have some Red Fluorescent Protein (+) E. coli on hand that produce red fluorescent proteins courtesy of the pDawn and pDusk plasmids they contain. Although chromophores are not fluorophores, in this case the red protein is visibly red and serves the purpose.
The idea is to grow a culture of the RFP(+) microbes and then extract the ~26 kD proteins using a Carolina GFP Purification kit. The small amount of fluorescent protein will then be mixed with buffer and used in an inkjet printer for direct shirt printing. The final product should be fluorescent images printed on DNA T-shirts, which may be for sale in the future.
Protocol, shirt sale link soon to follow.
Want to ‘make the ink’ with us? Join us on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 in Hamblin micro-lab.