Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a new method of 3D-printing gels and other soft materials.
Published in a new paper, it has the potential to create complex structures with nanometer-scale precision.
Because many gels are compatible with living cells, the new method could jump-start the production of soft tiny medical devices such as drug delivery systems or flexible electrodes that can be inserted into the human body.
A standard 3D printer makes solid structures by creating sheets of material – typically plastic or rubber – and building them up layer by layer, like a lasagna, until the entire object is created. Using a 3D printer to fabricate an object made of gel is a “bit more of a delicate cooking process,” said NIST researcher Andrei Kolmakov. In the standard method, the 3D printer chamber is filled with a soup […]
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