3D Printing of Human Microbiome Constituents to Understand Spatial Relationships & Shape Parameters in Bacteriology

Jacques Izard, Teklu Kuru Gerbaba, Shara R.P. Yumul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Effective laboratory and classroom demonstration of microbiome size and shape, diversity, and ecological relationships is hampered by a lack of high-resolution, easy-to-use, readily accessible physical or digital models for use in teaching. Three-dimensional (3D) representations are, overall, more effective in communicating visuospatial information, allowing for a better understanding of concepts not directly observable with the unaided eye. Published morphology descriptions and microscopy images were used as the basis for designing 3D digital models, scaled at 20,000×, using computer-aided design software (CAD) and generating printed models of bacteria on mass-market 3D printers. Sixteen models are presented, including rod-shaped, spiral, flask-like, vibroid, and filamentous bacteria as well as different arrangements of cocci. Identical model scaling enables direct comparison as well as design of a wide range of educational plans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-189
Number of pages2
JournalAmerican Biology Teacher
Volume83
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021

Keywords

  • 3D printing
  • microbiology education
  • science literacy
  • tactile
  • visual

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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