Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Mechanical Engineering


Tao Xu


In the pharmaceutical industry, new chemicals and substances are being tested to find appropriate compounds or mix for treating a specific disease. The demand for screening large compound collections against and increasing number of therapeutic targets has stimulated technology development in the areas of assay automation and miniaturization. Current methods for evaluating the reactions of cells use a volume in the range of microliters. We have developed a new and low-cost deposition method to fabricate miniature drug screening platform that can realistically and inexpensively evaluate biochemical reactions up to 4 substances per trial in a picoliter-scale volume. This paper describes the development of the controls for a deposition method (inkjet printing technology) which simultaneously place therapeutic drugs and cells onto target sites to fabricate cell/drug chips for drug screening application. Using a modified HP D5360 CD printer, droplets of GFP expressing Escherichia coli have been deposited in an agar coated coverslip chip as small repeatable volume of 180 picoliters per each colony dot, along with this bacteria it has been patterned different antibiotics in such a way that we evaluated the growth of the bacteria under antibiotics presence. The viability and function of the printed cells were evaluated by the live/dead and plasmid gene transfection experiments resulting in 98% viability and maintaining DNA functionality. Moreover, it has been recorded as a high throughput process printing 213 assays/second. Due to the reduction of volume, this method will increase the effectiveness of the resources utilized for emerging drug screening processes. The results show promising usage of resources for future drug screening through new biochemicals.




Received from ProQuest

File Size

60 pages

File Format


Rights Holder

Jorge Ivan Rodriguez