Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors



Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Shining a light on tiny polymer shapes: Visiting graduate student studies high-throughput manufacturing of precisely shaped microparticles

Shown here are examples of micro shapes polymerized by ultraviolet light in polyethylene glycol diacrylate (PEG-DA).
Image courtesy of Ryan Oliver/Mechanosynthesis Group
Shown here are examples of micro shapes polymerized by ultraviolet light in polyethylene glycol diacrylate (PEG-DA).

Image courtesy of Ryan Oliver/Mechanosynthesis Group

Abstract:
Ryan Oliver, a visiting graduate student in the lab of associate professor of mechanical engineering A. John Hart, is developing a technique called maskless fluidic lithography that creates unique shapes in a liquid polymer by exposing it to patterned ultraviolet light, a process known as photopolymerization.

Shining a light on tiny polymer shapes: Visiting graduate student studies high-throughput manufacturing of precisely shaped microparticles

Cambridge, MA | Posted on February 11th, 2014

For example, Oliver uses a projector to pattern shapes in polyethylene glycol diacrylate (PEG-DA), a common biocompatible polymer. Unlike semiconductor processing, which uses wafer masks produced as single-use items, the integrated projection system allows for rapid change of the pattern.

Key to the system is a Texas Instruments digital micromirror device (DMD) that can turn micromirrors on and off 32,552 times a second. "Because the mirrors are so fast, we can make decisions very quickly, which is hard to do with a masked system," Oliver says. "You would spend several days ordering or fabricating a mask rather than milliseconds if you needed a new pattern." By controlling how long each mirror is switched on during a single second, the system varies the intensity of the projection to form two-dimensional or three-dimensional structures. Oliver likens the process to layer-by-layer assembly in a single step.

Ryan and Hart chose the stop-flow lithography approach, inspired by research from Professor Patrick Doyle's group at MIT, while they were at the University of Michigan as a platform for studying the manufacture of large quantities of custom microparticles. Their vision is to use particles that are designed to work together and act as a sensitive biosensor. To realize the vision, Ryan has a goal to produce microparticles from about 250 nanometers to about 100 microns in a library of shapes such as diamonds, triangles, squares, and octagons. "We're exploring methods of taking them down to the nanoscale, but the current system produces microparticles," Oliver says. "What sets this method apart is, one, high throughput; two, flexibility using the DMD chip; and three, the fact that you can control the shape as well as the size of the particles, and possibly the chemistry."

Oliver is studying how to manipulate a collection of polymer particles on a liquid surface in order to assemble them in specific ways. "We needed a platform in order to synthesize microparticles that we could perform self-assembly experiments on, because that promises to allow us to build sensors that we can't build now, that are too complex — they're made out of too many types of materials to fabricate using traditional manufacturing methods," Oliver says. "A lot of applications may require control over the shape, the surface finish, the chemistry, and the size of microparticles, so we've been exploring this as a method toward that end, as well as understanding how to improve the shape accuracy while increasing throughput."

Such templated polymers can be used for a range of processes, from drug delivery to cell culture assays to casting molds. Researchers in Hart's Mechanosynthesis Lab also adapted the ultraviolet-light-based polymerization to a roll-to-roll system in addition to the microfluidic system.

One drawback with PEG, which is a hydrogel, is that it readily absorbs water, so it can swell or change shape in wet environments.

"Beyond the manufacturing process, we are interested in secondary means to assemble the particles into complex, hierarchical structures, such as those including cells," Oliver says. "These assemblies could be very useful for performing high-throughput bioassays or building novel tissue-like structures."

Oliver followed Hart to MIT from the University of Michigan. He led work on the Robofurnace project, an automated bench-top chemical vapor deposition system for growing carbon nanotubes and other nanomaterials. He hopes to finish his PhD through Michigan in August. His dissertation will focus on a suite of tools for high-throughput polymer micromanufacturing and manipulation, including the direct-write fluidic lithography method. Oliver presented his work on polymers at a Materials Research Society meeting and at the Enabling Nanofabrication for Rapid Innovation workshop in 2013.

Denis Paiste
Materials Processing Center

####

For more information, please click here

Copyright © Massachusetts Institute of Technology

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Microfluidics/Nanofluidics

UO-Berkeley Lab unveil new nano-sized synthetic scaffolding technique: Oil-and-water approach from Richmond's UO lab to spark new line of versatile peptoid nanosheets September 2nd, 2014

News and information

New synthesis method may shape future of nanostructures, clean energy: Findings advance efficient solar spliting of water into hydrogen fuel September 2nd, 2014

Accounting for Biological Aggregation in Heating and Imaging of Magnetic Nanoparticles September 2nd, 2014

Engineers develop new sensor to detect tiny individual nanoparticles September 2nd, 2014

Future solar panels September 2nd, 2014

Academic/Education

New Vice President Takes Helm at CNSE CMOST: Catherine Gilbert To Lead CNSE Children’s Museum of Science and Technology Through Expansion And Relocation August 29th, 2014

RMIT delivers $30m boost to micro and nano-tech August 26th, 2014

SEMATECH and Newly Merged SUNY CNSE/SUNYIT Launch New Patterning Center to Further Advance Materials Development: Center to Provide Access to Critical Tools that Support Semiconductor Technology Node Development August 7th, 2014

Oxford Instruments Asylum Research and the Center for Nanoscale Systems at Harvard University Present a Workshop on AFM Nanomechanical and Nanoelectrical Characterization, Aug. 21-22 August 6th, 2014

Self Assembly

UO-Berkeley Lab unveil new nano-sized synthetic scaffolding technique: Oil-and-water approach from Richmond's UO lab to spark new line of versatile peptoid nanosheets September 2nd, 2014

Nanocubes Get in a Twist : Competing forces coax nanocubes into helical structures August 11th, 2014

Self-assembly of gold nanoparticles into small clusters August 4th, 2014

Carnegie Mellon Chemists Create Nanofibers Using Unprecedented New Method July 31st, 2014

Materials/Metamaterials

UO-Berkeley Lab unveil new nano-sized synthetic scaffolding technique: Oil-and-water approach from Richmond's UO lab to spark new line of versatile peptoid nanosheets September 2nd, 2014

Fonon Announces 3D Metal Sintering Technology: Emerging Additive Nano Powder Manufacturing Technology August 28th, 2014

SouthWest NanoTechnologies CEO Dave Arthur to Discuss “Carbon Nanotubes and Automotive Applications” at The Automotive Composites Conference and Expo 2014 (ACCE2014) August 28th, 2014

Nanodiamonds Are Forever: A UCSB professor’s research examines 13,000-year-old nanodiamonds from multiple locations across three continents August 27th, 2014

Announcements

New synthesis method may shape future of nanostructures, clean energy: Findings advance efficient solar spliting of water into hydrogen fuel September 2nd, 2014

Accounting for Biological Aggregation in Heating and Imaging of Magnetic Nanoparticles September 2nd, 2014

Engineers develop new sensor to detect tiny individual nanoparticles September 2nd, 2014

Future solar panels September 2nd, 2014

Tools

Accounting for Biological Aggregation in Heating and Imaging of Magnetic Nanoparticles September 2nd, 2014

Raman Whispering Gallery Detects Nanoparticles September 1st, 2014

New analytical technology reveals 'nanomechanical' surface traits August 29th, 2014

Ultra-Low Frequency Vibration Isolation Stabilizes Scanning Tunneling Microscopy at UCLA’s Nano-Research Group August 28th, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE