3D Printing Allows Fabrication of Cancer Research Probes

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Researchers at NYU Abu Dhabi have used a 3D printer to create a functional, integrated and inexpensive microfluidic probe (MFP).

Typically made of glass or silicon, MFPs are tiny scientific tools used to study, process, and manipulate live cell cultures in a controlled environment. However, they cannot be easily produced on demand, and are expensive to make in large quantities.

The researchers fabricated their probes in a single step using stereolithographic 3D printing, and benchmarked the performance of the 3D-printed probes against standard MFPs. Their research suggests that 3D printers can provide a sophisticated, highly customizable MFP that works just as effectively as the standard. 3D printed microfluidic probe, NYU Abu Dhabi.

At right: a microfluidic probe printed in 3D. Cube-shaped and green-colored, this probe is about the size of a ring box, however, the design can be printed in many sizes. Courtesy of NYU Abu Dhabi.

“3D printers provide a simple, rapid, and low-cost technique for fabricating MFPs,” said researcher Mohammad Qasaimeh. “All steps, from design to product, can be made in less than a day. Any science lab with a moderate resolution stereolithography printer will be able to fabricate 3D MFPs on demand and use them to process cells reliably."

The researchers have made their CAD files available for others to try on their own stereolithographic 3D printers.

The research was published in Scientific Reports (doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-29304-x). 

NYU Abu Dhabi researchers are designing new 3D printing technologies that could help scientists make discoveries pertaining to cancer research. Courtesy of NYU Abu Dhabi.


Published: August 2018
3d printing
3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing (AM), is a manufacturing process that builds three-dimensional objects layer by layer from a digital model. This technology allows the creation of complex and customized structures that would be challenging or impossible with traditional manufacturing methods. The process typically involves the following key steps: Digital design: A three-dimensional digital model of the object is created using computer-aided design (CAD) software. This...
A method of creating real three-dimensional models by using lasers driven by CAD software. In contrast to the normal practice of removing material, this process polymerizes a liquid to quickly produce shapes that are untouched by human hands or cutting tools. Also known as three-dimensional imaging and three-dimensional modeling.
Research & TechnologyMideastNYU Abu Dhabieducation3d printingstereolithographymicrofluidic probescancermedicalBiophotonicsBioScan

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