Key points from article :
New method of 3-D-printing gels and other soft materials could create complex structures with nanometer-scale precision.
Example soft tiny medical devices include:
- drug delivery systems
- flexible electrodes to monitor brain activity
- biosensors for virus detection
Kolmakov uses beams of electrons (with a shorter wavelength than visible light) so can produce gels with finer structural detail.
Can create structures as small as 100 nanometers - about 1,000 times thinner than a human hair.
Also, they do not require a special set of molecules to initiate the formation of gels.
Solved the issue of needing a vacuum by placing an ultrathin sheet silicon nitride between it and the liquid chamber.
By refining their method, they expect to imprint structures on gels as small as 50 nm, the size of a small virus.
Researchers by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) published in ACS Nano.