3D printed nanotech device could provide answers in brain cancer, Alzheimers research (uses two-photon lithography)

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3D printed nanotech device could provide answers in brain cancer, Alzheimers research (uses two-photon lithography) Empty 3D printed nanotech device could provide answers in brain cancer, Alzheimers research (uses two-photon lithography)

Post by Cr6 on Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:46 am

Interesting that they are printing things this narrow (sub-microns):
3D printed nanotech device could provide answers in brain cancer, Alzheimers research

Feb 13, 2018 | By Benedict

Researchers at Genoa’s Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia in Italy have used nanoscale 3D printing to develop a hybrid nanotech device that could help develop treatments for brain diseases and tumors. The 3D printed device mimics the blood-brain barrier.

The blood-brain barrier, commonly shortened to just “BBB,” might sound like a death metal band, but it’s actually a very useful membrane found in all of our heads. Formed by brain endothelial cells, the semipermeable barrier allows the passage of things like water and some gases, but blocks certain neurotoxins and other substances.

Our BBBs are naturally occurring, and our central nervous system wouldn't work properly without them, but researchers at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia in Italy recently 3D printed a kind of artificial BBB that could be used to develop brain disease therapies.

Their hybrid nanotech device, fabricated using a Nanoscribe nanoscale 3D printer, contains a combination of artificial and biological components, and functions as a microfluidic device. It was made using a combination of mechanical and natural techniques.

The microfabrication process of two-photon lithography was used, courtesy of the Nanoscribe machine, to create several parts of the BBB model. During this two-photon lithography process, a laser scans through a liquid photopolymer and solidifies the material layer by layer, producing a kind of SLA or DLP-type 3D print but on a submicron scale.



Nanoscribe 3D printer overcomes design constraints in advanced micro-optics

Aug 9, 2017 | By Benedict

German 3D printing company Nanoscribe is using its Photonic Professional GT 3D printer to fabricate micro-optical shapes including standard refractive micro-optics, freeform optics, diffractive optical elements, and multiplet lens systems.

Initially created as a spin-off of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, 3D printing company Nanoscribe has since established itself on the global market as a provider of high-precision, micro-scale 3D printing technology and micro-optical solutions.

The German additive manufacturing company says its approach “combines a disruptive 3D printing technology with user-friendly software and innovative materials leading to reproducible and lean processes,” allowing customers to “overcome prevailing technological barriers.”

Using its Photonic Professional GT 3D printer, Nanoscribe recently demonstrated how it can produce various micro-optical shapes using a process of two-photon polymerization. These Photonic Professional GT 3D printers purportedly provide submicrometer features with optical quality surface finishes, as well as quick fabrication along the 3D printing workflow.

In the field of micro-optics, Nanoscribe says its 3D printing solution “disrupts and breaks with previously complex workflows, overcomes long-standing design limitations, and enables unprecedented applications driven by advanced micro-optics.”

In other words, the Photonic Professional GT is much unlike your average 3D printer, and can therefore be used to create functional optical products that would be impossible to produce on other machines.

The GT, in combination with the right materials and process, purportedly allows users to “directly fabricate polymer micro-optical components with significantly reduced geometrical constraints than standard fabrication methods, high shape accuracy, and optically smooth surfaces.”

The 3D printer also shortens the design-iteration phase, allowing users to turn ideas into functional prototypes within “just a few days.”

Products that can be fabricated on Nanoscribe’s 3D printers include micro-objective lenses with different focal lengths printed onto a high-resolution CMOS chip (known as “foveated imaging”), arrays of micro-optic hemispheres that have a shape accuracy of better than 1 μm and a surface roughness of better than 10 nm Ra, and diffractive optical elements (DOE) that have significantly smaller feature sizes than refractive optics.



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