BioPrint-it Kit™: Bacteria art you can print on fabric

Kit size
About the BioPrint-it Kit™

Create textile art with colorful bacteria.

New York bio artist Marcus Banks collaborates on this STEM science kit inspired by his own practice so that you, too, can create living art using living, colorful bacteria.  

With this art-meets-science project kit, grow patterns and paintings on Petri dishes using the colored bacteria provided in your kit (as well as any colored engineered bacteria you may have created before). Once grown, transfer them directly to paper or textile in any design you like, or use some of the paintbrushes to add some freehand elements to your art. Finish by stabilizing and fixing your creation(s) with the medium provided to lock in the colorful creation.  

    Learn your bioart living art skills while discovering genetic engineering, biotechnology, life science with these STEM project science kit instructions.

    What will you learn?

    For this art-meets-science project, you will:

    1. Make your own "painting canvases," called LB agar Petri dishes; a ubiquitous skill in the life sciences.
    2. Paint or stencil the colorful bacteria included in the kit onto seven canvases.
    3. Incubate them in a warm spot, or an incubator if you have one
    4. Like an invisible ink, you won't see them at first, but as they grow and divide, they will become visible between 12-48 hours and change color. Your painting will emerge!
    5. Press the living paintings onto the fabric, creating different patterns or images.
    6. After drying the pressed paintings on the fabric, coat with the fixing agent.
    7. Display your art!

    What's included?

    The Bioprint-it Kit in Individual or Group size includes: Sterile water, LB agar, and selective antibiotics, bacteria paintbrushes, Petri dishes (6 cm), textile to print on, three colorful bacteria tubes, fixing agent, & paintbrushes, stencils.

    Colored bacteria included are purple, invisible-ink cyan (fluorescent), and magenta (fluorescent). If you have already engineered cells with an Engineer-it Kit and still have them, you can also use those cells with a BioPrint-it Kit!

    • The Individual Kit: An individual kit with all the ingredients needed for completing one entire science experience. Great for an individual or a small group.

    • The Classroom/Group Kit: Eight individually packaged kits with the needed ingredients to complete eight entire science experiences. 1 shared resources bag containing the colored bacteria and inactivation bags, which are shared between all participants.

    • Instructions: a manual with easy-to-understand vocabulary and step-by-step procedures and an online experiment simulation to practice with, teach you fundamentals, and guide you along the way. Available online. See the Resources tab for links!

    What else is needed?

    The recommended equipment for this experiment is a 37 °C incubator. The incubator is recommended for the best result but is not required since the bacteria will grow at room temperature. This does take longer, and produces colors that are more pastel than bright, but works all the same. You can also build your own DIY incubator by following our tutorial. Have a look in the resource section below for a link!

    This kit is compatible with the DNA Playground's built-in incubator and our Classroom Incubator

    Cleaning and safety supplies are not included in the kit. Necessary safety and cleaning supplies are latex or nitrile gloves, and a chlorinated bleach cleaner or a 10% solution of chlorinated bleach in a spray bottle (you can make this by adding 9 parts water to 1 part bleach in a spray bottle). You can add a Mini Safety Set to your kit which includes gloves and a reusable plastic apron to protect your clothes.

    For more information about safety, set up and clean up, you can have a look at the instruction manual for the experiment linked in the Ressources section below, and at the "Practicing safe science" page.

    Storage & Shipping

    Shipping Times

    Experiment kits are shipped 1-10 working days after you place your order. If you require yours for a specific date or event, please contact us before or with your order # so that we can try to make it happen for you! ☺︎ 


    For the best results, and the longest shelf life possible, refrigerate the kit(s) upon arrival. You'll find a "Best by" date on the kit's label. This date assumes you've refrigerated your kit upon arrival.

    For any questions, don't hesistate to reach out to us - contact us