A Swiss research team has recently made significant new breakthroughs that can bring new light to the field of 3D bioprinting. They developed a new endoscopic SLA technology that uses ultra-fine fibers to focus the laser beam to create a very small-sized structure. This innovative approach may one day be used to print biocompatible structures directly into tissues in the body, with the potential to repair damage and a range of other critical applications.
There are a number of laser-based 3D microfabrication technologies available today, but most current methods rely on complex laser devices that may be too expensive and bulky. These methods utilize an optical phenomenon known as two-photon polymerization, while the new method utilizes different phenomena in which solidification of a particular chemical occurs only above a certain threshold of light intensity.
The relatively inexpensive continuous laser beam used by the team emits light at a wavelength of 488 nm. This is in the visible range and is safer for human cells than other types of lasers. They focus the beam through a tiny fiber that specifically cures specific areas of the droplets of the photosensitive liquid. This is similar to the 3D printing method, but the size is much smaller. The photopolymer used is a combination of an organic polymer precursor and a photoinitiator made of a chemical which is moderately priced and readily available.
With further development, our technology can make endoscopic micromachining tools valuable in the surgical process. These tools can be used to print microscopic or nanoscale three-dimensional structures, promote cell adhesion and growth, and create damage-recovery. Engineering organization. Compared to the most advanced systems for two-photon photopolymerization, our equipment has a coarser print resolution, but studying cell interactions is potentially sufficient because our method does not require complex optical components, it can be applied to Current endoscope systems. “