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. 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 engineeringand 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 Nature: 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.”
The Latest on: 3D nanoprinting
via Google News
The Latest on: 3D nanoprinting
- 3D molding and direct laser writing prints nanostructures from multiple materials at onceon July 23, 2019 at 5:00 pm
Engineers at the University of Maryland (UMD; College Park, MD) have created a new multimaterial 3D laser-based nanoprinting technique that uses a simple molding process that is widely used in most ...
- New multi-material 3D nanoprinting strategy could revolutionize optics, photonics and biomedicineon July 23, 2019 at 7:31 am
The team’s new technique – capable of printing tiny multi-material structures a fraction of the size of a human hair – offers researchers a faster, cheaper, and more accurate means to 3D print these ...
- New 3D nanoprinting strategy opens door to revolution in medicine, roboticson January 23, 2019 at 12:30 pm
Engineers 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 ...
- New 3D nanoprinting strategy opens door to revolution in medicine, roboticson January 23, 2019 at 6:42 am
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 ...
- New 3D nanoprinting strategy opens door to revolution in medicine, roboticson January 22, 2019 at 4:00 pm
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2019, its ...
- 3D Nanoprinting Using Charged Aerosol Focusingon December 20, 2018 at 9:35 am
In a paper entitled “Three-dimensional nanoprinting via charged aerosol focusing,” a group of researchers describes a 3D nanoprinting method to create versatile nanostructures that cannot easily be ...
- Novel 3D printed polymer lenses for X-ray microscopes: highly efficient and low coston September 6, 2018 at 2:35 am
By using an advanced 3D printing technique, a single lens can be manufactured under a minute from polymeric materials with extremely favorable X-ray optical properties, hence the costs of prototyping ...
- Nanoscribe opens office in China to expand 3D nanoprinting businesson August 30, 2018 at 5:00 pm
3D nanoprinting and microprinting company Nanoscribe (Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany) is establishing a subsidiary company in Shanghai, China. With Nanoscribe China, the company strives to ...
- With Lasers, 3D Printing on a Miniature Scaleon August 27, 2018 at 8:45 am
Copies of buildings and the Statue of Liberty that are only microns tall — these are examples of what’s been done with three-dimensional nanolithography, known as 3D nanoprinting. Also possible today ...
- 3D Nanoprinting facilitates communication with lighton April 20, 2018 at 4:33 am
(Nanowerk News) At Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), researchers have developed a flexible and efficient concept to combine optical components in compact systems. They use a high-resolution 3D ...
via Bing News