Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Laser beam as a '3-D painter' to grow biological tissue or to create micro sensors

Date:
August 27, 2012
Source:
Vienna University of Technology, TU Vienna
Summary:
With laser beams, molecules can be fixed at exactly the right position in a three dimensional material. The new method can be used to grow biological tissue or to create micro sensors.

3-D pattern, produced by photografting (180 ΅m wide). Fluorescent molecules are attached to the hydrogel, resulting in a microscopic 3-D pattern.
Credit: Image courtesy of Vienna University of Technology, TU Vienna

With laser beams, molecules can be fixed at exactly the right position in a three dimensional material. The new method developed at the Vienna University of Technology can be used to grow biological tissue or to create micro sensors.

There are many ways to create three dimensional objects on a micrometer scale. But how can the chemical properties of a material be tuned at micrometer precision? Scientists at the Vienna University of Technology developed a method to attach molecules at exactly the right place. When biological tissue is grown, this method can allow the positioning of chemical signals, telling living cells where to attach. The new technique also holds promise for sensor technology: A tiny three dimensional "lab on a chip" could be created, in which accurately positioned molecules react with substances from the environment.

Materials Science and Chemistry

"3-D-photografting" is the name of the new method. Two research teams from the Vienna University of Technology collaborated closely to develop it: Professor Jόrgen Stampfl's materials science team and Professor Robert Liska's research group for macromolecular chemistry.

Both research groups have already attracted considerable attention in the past, developing new kinds of 3-D-printers. However, for the applications on which the scientists are working on now, 3-D-printing would not have been useful: "Putting together a material from tiny building blocks with different chemical properties would be extremely complicated," says Aleksandr Ovsianikov. "That is why we start from a three dimensional scaffold and then attach the desired molecules at exactly the right positions."

Molecules in the Hydrogel -- Locked into Position by the Laser

The scientists start with a so-called hydrogel -- a material made of macromolecules, arranged in a loose meshwork. Between those molecules, large pores remain, through which other molecules or even cells can migrate. Specially selected molecules are introduced into the hydrogel meshwork, then certain points are irradiated with a laser beam. At the positions where the focused laser beam is most intense, a photochemically labile bond is broken. That way, highly reactive intermediates are created which locally attach to the hydrogel very quickly. The precision depends on the laser's lens system, at the Vienna University of Technology a resolution of 4 ΅m could be obtained. "Much like an artist, placing colors at certain points of the canvas, we can place molecules in the hydrogel -- but in three dimensions and with high precision," says Aleksandr Ovsianikov.

Chemical Signals for Cells

This method can be used to artificially grow biological tissue. Like a climbing plant clinging to a rack, cells need some scaffold at which they attach. In a natural tissue, the extracellular matrix does the trick by using specific amino acid sequences to signal the cells, where they are supposed to grow. In the lab, scientists are trying to use similar chemical signals. In various experiments, cell attachment could be guided on two dimensional surfaces, but in order to grow larger tissues with a specific inner structure (such as capillaries), a truly three dimensional technique is required.

Micro Sensors Detect Molecules

Depending on the application, different molecules can be used. 3-D photografting is not only useful for bio-engineering but also for other fields, such as photovoltaics or sensor technology. In a very small space, molecules can be positioned which attach to specific chemical substances and allow their detection. A microscopic three-dimensional "lab on a chip" becomes possible.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Vienna University of Technology, TU Vienna. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Aleksandr Ovsianikov, Zhiquan Li, Jan Torgersen, Jόrgen Stampfl, Robert Liska. 3D Photografting: Selective Functionalization of 3D Matrices Via Multiphoton Grafting and Subsequent Click Chemistry (Adv. Funct. Mater. 16/2012). Advanced Functional Materials, 2012; 22 (16): 3527 DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201290098

Cite This Page:

Vienna University of Technology, TU Vienna. "Laser beam as a '3-D painter' to grow biological tissue or to create micro sensors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120827074144.htm>.
Vienna University of Technology, TU Vienna. (2012, August 27). Laser beam as a '3-D painter' to grow biological tissue or to create micro sensors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120827074144.htm
Vienna University of Technology, TU Vienna. "Laser beam as a '3-D painter' to grow biological tissue or to create micro sensors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120827074144.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

AP (July 18, 2014) — The Obama administration approved the use of sonic cannons to discover deposits under the ocean floor by shooting sound waves 100 times louder than a jet engine through waters shared by endangered whales and turtles. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Newsy (July 18, 2014) — The wreckage of the German submarine U-166 has become clearly visible for the first time since it was discovered in 2001. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Reuters - US Online Video (July 17, 2014) — President Barak Obama stopped by at a lunch counter in Delaware before making remarks about boosting the nation's infrastructure. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

TheStreet (July 16, 2014) — Oil Futures are bouncing back after tumbling below $100 a barrel for the first time since May yesterday. Jeff Grossman is the president of BRG Brokerage and trades at the NYMEX. Grossman tells TheStreet the Middle East is always a concern for oil traders. Oil prices were pushed down in recent weeks on Libya increasing its production. Supply disruptions in Iraq fading also contributed to prices falling. News from China's economic front showing a growth for the second quarter also calmed fears on its slowdown. Jeff Grossman talks to TheStreet's Susannah Lee on this and more on the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) report. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins