Nanofabrication Techniques Enable Creation of Miniaturised Versions of Components for Medical DiagnosticsJuly 16, 2012 – 7:22 am
Researchers at the University of Maryland have developed new materials and nanofabrication techniques for building miniaturised versions of components needed for medical diagnostics, sensors and other applications. These miniaturised components –– many impossible to make with conventional techniques –– would allow for rapid analysis at lower cost and with small sample volumes.
Chemistry Professor John Fourkas and his team have created materials that allow the simultaneous 3-D manipulation of microscopic objects using optical tweezers and a unique point-by-point method for lithography. As they report in a research article published in the August issue of Chemical Science (“Simultaneous microscale optical manipulation, fabrication and immobilisation in aqueous media”), the combination of these techniques allows them to assemble complex 3-D structures from multiple microscopic components.
“These materials have opened the door to a suite of new techniques for micro- and nanofabrication,” says Fourkas. “For instance, we have been able to perform braiding and weaving with threads that have a diameter that is more than 100 times smaller than that of a human hair.” In the paper, Fourkas and his group also showcase 3-D structures composed of glass microspheres, a microscopic tetherball pole, and a microscopic needle eye that has been threaded.
Source: University of MarylandYvonne Klöpping