PROJECT TITLE :
3-D Non-UV Digital Printing of Hydrogel Microstructures by Optically Controlled Digital Electropolymerization
A technique using digital masks while not ultraviolet lightweight to rapidly print three-D biopolymer structures with complex microarchitectures in a microfluidic chip has been demonstrated. In this approach, a customized system is used to project lightweight pictures on a photoconductive substrate in order to form localized virtual electrodes when an alternating electrical field is applied across the fluidic medium in an optically controlled digital electropolymerization chip. Upon these virtual electrodes, the localized electric fields are generated, which could activate the polymerization of acrylate-primarily based molecules, such as poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate (PEGDA), to create microstructures with the identical shapes because the projected light-weight pictures. We tend to have demonstrated that the 3-D PEGDA microstructures with the customized shapes may be fabricated rapidly through a layer-by-layer process by applying a series of digital masks (projected light-weight pictures). With our current projection and microscopy system, the fabrication of microhydrogel structures with a lateral resolution of 3 $mu textm$ and an adjustable thickness ranging from tens of nanometers to many micrometers has been demonstrated. In summary, this novel technique provides an economical process for the speedy printing of the three-D biopolymer-based microstructures, and could enable several future applications during a mechanoanalysis of cancer cells, tissue engineering, and drug screening. [2015-0110]
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