Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Electron and x-ray focused beam-induced cross-linking in liquids: Toward rapid continuous 3D nanoprinting and interfacing using soft materials

Published

Author(s)

Tanya Gupta, Evgheni Strelcov, Glenn E. Holland, Joshua D. Schumacher, Yang Yang, Mandy B. Esch, Vladimir A. Aksyuk, Patrick Zeller, Matteo Amati, Luca Gregoratti, Andrei A. Kolmakov

Abstract

Additive fabrication of biocompatible 3D structures out of liquid hydrogel solutions has become pivotal technology for tissue engineering, soft robotics, biosensing, drug delivery etc. Electron and X-ray lithography are well suited to pattern nanoscopic features out of dry polymers, however, the direct additive manufacturing in hydrogel solutions with these powerful tools is hard to implement due to vacuum incompatibility of hydrated samples. In this work, we resolve this principal impediment and demonstrate a technique for in-liquid hydrogel 3D- sculpturing separating high vacuum instrumentation and volatile sample with ultrathin molecularly impermeable membranes transparent to low energy electrons and soft X-rays. Using either scanning focused electron or synchrotron soft X-ray beams, the principle of the technique, particularities of the in-liquid crosslinking mechanism and factors affecting the ultimate gel feature size are described and validated through the comparison of experiments and simulations. The potential of this technique is demonstrated on few practical examples such as encapsulation of nanoparticles and live-cell as well as fabrication of mesoscopic 3D-hydrogel structures via modulation of the beam energy
Citation
ACS Nano

Keywords

electron beam, X-ray beam, hydrogel, crosslinking, 3D printing

Citation

Gupta, T. , Strelcov, E. , Holland, G. , Schumacher, J. , Yang, Y. , Esch, M. , Aksyuk, V. , Zeller, P. , Amati, M. , Gregoratti, L. and Kolmakov, A. (2020), Electron and x-ray focused beam-induced cross-linking in liquids: Toward rapid continuous 3D nanoprinting and interfacing using soft materials, ACS Nano, [online], https://doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.0c04266 (Accessed July 31, 2021)
Created September 15, 2020, Updated September 25, 2020