Scientists from the University of Twente, the Netherlands have developed a field full of microscopic pyramids for cell research, thanks to 3D micro- and nano scale fabrication.
Material left in the tip
The technology used to achieve this, known as 'corner lithography', was in fact discovered by chance. If you join a number of flat silicon surface in a sharp corner, it is possible to deposit another material on them. After having removed the material, however, a small amount of material remains in the corner. This tiny tip can be used for an Atomic Force Microscope, or, in this case, for forming a micro pyramid.
Fabrication of a whole array of open-sided pyramids on a membrane
The micropyramids are actually 'cages' for cells. Moved by capillary fluid flow, these cells automatically 'fall' into the pyramid through a hole at the bottom. Soon after they settle in their 3D cage, cells begin to interact with cells in adjacent pyramids. Changes in the phenotype of the cell can now be studied in a better way than in the usual 2D situation. It is therefore a promising tool to be used in for example tissue regeneration research.
Tiny balls captured by the micro pyramids. (Images credit: Twente)
The Dutch scientists expect to develop extensions tot this technology: the edges of the pyramid can be made hollow and function as fluid channels. Between the pyramids, it is also possible to create nanofluidic channels, for example used to feed the cells.
Researchers will present this new technology and its first applications in the journal Small at the beginning of December.
Posted in 3D Printing Technology
Maybe you also like:
- Jordan Miller: Open Source is a Philosophy, Not a Checkbox
- Join EFF's Efforts to fight bad patents restricting 3D printing
- UK Government to invest ￡7M in 3D printing technology
- Unfold's Stratigraphic Manufactury: playing with ceramic 3d printing for unexpected results
- Global Additive Manufacturing Market expected to reach $3.5 Billion by 2017
- China 3D Printing Technology Industry Alliance established
- Report urges UK government to develop 3D printing policy
Zio wrote at 12/11/2012 4:56:36 AM:
Guys, it has nothing to do with 3D printing. Yes, most likely the nanoimprint was used to mask the silicon, but 3D structures were not formed in additive printing. I know that 3Dprnt is a hot topic, but for sake...