Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New 3D nanoprinting strategy opens door to revolution in medicine, robotics

24.01.2019

UMD engineers demonstrate their approach by printing the smallest-known 3D microfluidic circuit element

Engineers at the University of Maryland (UMD) have created the first 3D-printed fluid circuit element so tiny that 10 could rest on the width of a human hair.


Engineers at the University of Maryland (UMD) have created the first 3D-printed fluid circuit element so tiny that 10 could rest on the width of a human hair. The diode ensures fluids move in only a single direction -- a critical feature for products like implantable devices that release therapies directly into the body. For full-size image and details: https://go.umd.edu/sol-gel

Credit: DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-36727-z

The diode ensures fluids move in only a single direction--a critical feature for products like implantable devices that release therapies directly into the body.

The microfluidic diode also represents the first use of a 3D nanoprinting strategy that breaks through previous cost and complexity barriers hindering advancements in areas from personalized medicine to drug delivery.

"Just as shrinking electric circuits revolutionized the field of electronics, the ability to dramatically reduce the size of 3D printed microfluidic circuitry sets the stage for a new era in fields like pharmaceutical screening, medical diagnostics, and microrobotics," said Ryan Sochol, an assistant professor in mechanical engineering and bioengineering at UMD's A. James Clark School of Engineering.

Sochol, along with graduate students Andrew Lamont and Abdullah Alsharhan, outlined their new strategy in a paper published today in the open-access journal Scientific Reports.

Scientists have in recent years tapped into the emerging technology of 3D nanoprinting to build medical devices and create "organ-on-a-chip" systems. But the complexity of pushing pharmaceuticals, nutrients, and other fluids into such small environments without leakage--and the costs of overcoming those complexities--made the technology impractical for most applications requiring precise fluid control.

Instead, researchers were limited to additive manufacturing technologies that print features significantly larger than the new UMD fluid diode.

"This really put a limit on how small your device could be," said Lamont, a bioengineering student who developed the approach and led the tests as part of his doctoral research. "After all, the microfluidic circuitry in your microrobot can't be larger than the robot itself."

What sets the Clark School team's strategy apart is its use of a process known as sol-gel, which allowed them to anchor their diode to the walls of a microscale channel printed with a common polymer. The diode's minute architecture was then printed directly inside of the channel--layer-by-layer, from the top of the channel down.

The result is a fully sealed, 3D microfluidic diode created at a fraction of the cost and in less time than previous approaches.

The strong seal they achieved, which will protect the circuit from contamination and ensure any fluid pushed through the diode isn't released at the wrong time or place, was further strengthened by a reshaping of the microchannel walls.

"Where previous methods required researchers to sacrifice time and cost to build similar components, our approach allows us to essentially have our cake and eat it too," Sochol said. "Now, researchers can 3D nanoprint complex fluidic systems faster, cheaper, and with less labor than ever before."

Media Contact

Melissa L. Andreychek
mandreyc@umd.edu
301-405-0292

 @UMDRightNow

http://www.umdrightnow.umd.edu/ 

Melissa L. Andreychek | EurekAlert!
Further information:
https://eng.umd.edu/release/new-3d-nanoprinting-strategy-opens-door-to-revolution-in-medicine-robotics
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-36727-z

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Building blocks for new medications: the University of Graz is seeking a technology partner
19.03.2019 | Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz

nachricht Scientists find new approach that shows promise for treating cystic fibrosis
14.03.2019 | NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

Im Focus: Heading towards a tsunami of light

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...

Im Focus: Revealing the secret of the vacuum for the first time

New research group at the University of Jena combines theory and experiment to demonstrate for the first time certain physical processes in a quantum vacuum

For most people, a vacuum is an empty space. Quantum physics, on the other hand, assumes that even in this lowest-energy state, particles and antiparticles...

Im Focus: Sussex scientists one step closer to a clock that could replace GPS and Galileo

Physicists in the EPic Lab at University of Sussex make crucial development in global race to develop a portable atomic clock

Scientists in the Emergent Photonics Lab (EPic Lab) at the University of Sussex have made a breakthrough to a crucial element of an atomic clock - devices...

Im Focus: Sensing shakes

A new way to sense earthquakes could help improve early warning systems

Every year earthquakes worldwide claim hundreds or even thousands of lives. Forewarning allows people to head for safety and a matter of seconds could spell...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Levitating objects with light

19.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

New technique for in-cell distance determination

19.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Stellar cartography

19.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>