Researchers from MIT presented the technology of creating three-dimensional objects of any form from various materials by compressing their structure to one thousandth from the initial volume.
The bio-engineer team uses a very well absorbent material from polyacrylate, which acts as the basis during the manufacturing process. Using the laser, it is simulated from it like a framework, to which other compound elements are then adding. The structure actually floats in a special solution with fluorescein located in certain areas, which interacts with other components and molecules, helping to accurately place them.
Once all the elements are installed in the right places, the structure is compressed by adding acid that blocks negative charges in the polyacrylate gel, so that they no longer repel each other, forcing it to shrink it. After shrinkage, the material solidifies, and the product becomes suitable for operation. In fact, this method is turned reversed by the process of expansion microscopy.
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The image shows an example of a complex structure before compression.
At the moment, scientists may form objects with a resolution of 50 nm and a total volume of about one cubic millimeter. Developers are studying the prospects for practical applications and, first of all, plan to use the technique for creating specialized lenses. Since the designs can be placed metals, semiconductors and even biomaterial, the technology has many other potential applications. For example, the manufacture of nanoscale electronics or robots.
Japanese researchers believe that the flexible electronics of the future can not do without lasting with