Biochips Built by Micro-Pyramids Thanks to 3D Printing Breakthrough



A breakthrough in 3D Printing promises to open the door to higher levels or more controlled, details organic 3D Printing that can be used to create biochips.

Webster’s Definition-

a microchip intended to function in a biological environment, especially inside a living organism.
  • a logical device analogous to the silicon chip, whose components are formed from biological molecules or structures.


Nanoscale 3D Printing Technique Uses Micro-Pyramids to Build Better Biochips

Making biochips, a key technology in studying disease, just got a little easier. This new nanoprinting process uses gold-plated pyramids, an LED light, and photochemical reactions to print more organic material on the surface of one single biochip than ever before.

The technique uses an array of polymer pyramids that are covered in gold and mounted onto an atomic force microscope. These arrays, which are one square centimeter in size, contain thousands of tiny pyramids with holes that allow light through, and make sure that the light goes only to specific places on the surface of a chip below, immobilizing delicate organic reagants on the chip’s surface without damaging them.

Processes like this, known as tip-based lithography, are widely considered to be the best way to 3D print organic material with nanoscale feature resolution. But in the past, they were limited by the fact that they could only print one kind of molecule at a time.

Now researchers at the City University of New York’s Advanced Science Research Center (ASRC) and Hunter College think they have solved that problem.

They’re using microfluidics, the manipulation of fluids on a molecular level, to expose each biochip to the desired combination of chemicals. Then, they use photochemistry to shine light through the apertures in the pyramids. As the light reacts with the molecules, it adheres them to the chip.



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