Research allows for 3D printing of ‘organic electronics’



An example of 3D laser printing. Credit: University of Houston

When taking a look at the future of production of micro-scale natural electronic devices, Mohammad Reza Abidian—associate teacher of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering—sees their possible for usage in versatile electronic devices and bioelectronics, by means of multiphoton 3D printers.

The latest paper from his research group analyzes the possibility of that technology. “Multiphoton Lithography of Organic Semiconductor Devices for 3D Printing of Flexible Electronic Circuits, Biosensors, and Bioelectronics” was released online in Advanced Materials.

Over the previous couple of years, 3D printing of electronic devices have actually ended up being an appealing technology due to their possible applications in emerging fields such as nanoelectronics and nanophotonics. Among 3D microfabrication innovations, multiphoton lithography (MPL) is thought about the state-of-the-art among the microfabrication techniques with real 3D fabrication ability, outstanding level of spatial and temporal control, and the flexibility of photosensitive products mainly made up of acrylate-based polymers/monomers or epoxy-based photoresists.

“In this paper we introduced a new photosensitive resin doped with an organic semiconductor material (OS) to fabricate highly conductive 3D microstructures with high-quality structural features via MPL process,” Abidian stated.

They revealed that the fabrication procedure might be carried out on glass and versatile substrate poly(dimethylsilosane). They showed that packing as low as 0.5 wt% OS into the resin extremely increased electrical conductivity of printed natural semiconductor composite polymer over 10 orders of magnitude.

“The excellent electrical conductivity can be attributed to presence of OS in the cross-linked polymer chains, providing both ionic and electronic conduction pathways along the polymer chains,” Abidian stated.

To show the possible electronic applications based upon the OS composite resin, his group produced different microelectronic gadgets, consisting of micro-printed circuit board, which makes up different electrical aspects, and a selection of microcapacitors.

Three dimensional bioprinting of natural semiconductor microdevices based upon MPL has possible in biomedical applications consisting of tissue engineering, bioelectronics and biosensors. Abidian’s group effectively integrated bioactive particles such as laminin and glucose oxidase into the OS composite microstructures (OSCMs). To verify that the bioactivity of laminin was maintained throughout the whole MPL procedure, main mouse endothelial cells were cultured on OS composite microstructures. Cells seeded on laminin integrated OSCMs showed proof of adherence to substrate, expansion, and boosted survival.

“We also assessed the biocompatibility of the OS composite structures by culturing lymphocytes, namely splenic T-cells and B-cells, on the fabricated surfaces and compared them with control surfaces. After seven days of culture, OS composite polymers did not induce cell mortality with approximately 94 percent cell viability compared to the control surfaces,” Abidian stated. “In addition, the potential effect of OS composite polymers on cell activation was also studied. After seven days of culture, there was no significant difference in the expression of activation markers on the lymphocytes between OS composite structures and control surfaces.”

Finally, Abidian proposed a maskless approach based upon MPL for fabrication of bioelectronics and biosensors. They produced a glucose biosensor comparable to Michigan design neural electrodes. Glucose oxidase, an enzyme for the particular acknowledgment of glucose, was encapsulated within the strengthened OS composite microelectrodes by means of the MPL procedure. The biosensor provided an extremely delicate glucose picking up platform with almost 10-fold greater level of sensitivity compared to previous glucose biosensors. In addition, this biosensor displayed outstanding uniqueness and high reproducibility.

“We anticipate that the presented MPL-compatible OS composite resins will pave the path towards production of soft, bioactive, and conductive microstructures for various applications in the emerging fields of flexible bioelectronics, biosensors, nanoelectronics, organ-on-chips, and immune cell therapies.” Abidian stated.

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More info:
Omid Dadras‐Toussi et al, Multiphoton Lithography of Organic Semiconductor Devices for 3D Printing of Flexible Electronic Circuits, Biosensors, and Bioelectronics, Advanced Materials (2022). DOI: 10.1002/adma.202200512

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Research allows for 3D printing of ‘natural electronic devices’ (2022, June 24)
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