Nanoscribe presented the new IP-PDMS photoresist for the 3D microfabrication of elastomer-based applications, microsystems and devices. The biocompatible printing material is soft, very flexible and elastic. Thus, IP-PDMS is a promising engine for micro 3D printing applications in various fields, such as life sciences, microfluidics and for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). These characteristics and the ISO-approved non-cytotoxicity of the photoresist promise advancements in high-precision 3D printing for cell culture and tissue engineering.
IP-PDMS photoresist is Nanoscribe’s first printing material with elastomeric properties. The softness, flexibility and elasticity of IP-PDMS are particularly beneficial for new microfabrication strategies in life sciences, microfluidics and MEMS. The wide range of pioneering applications includes freeform elastic cellular scaffolds and tissue engineering applications, 3D structured surfaces and microfluidic devices. “In our first 3D printing tests of flexible polymer structures, IP-PDMS turned out to be a promising material. Personally, I am delighted to exploit the new resin for microrobotic components and biomimetic scaffolds, ”says PhD Ada-Ioana Bunea, Assistant Professor at Nanolab at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) in Copenhagen, summarizing her research projects coming with IP-PDMS.
Mechanical properties of IP-PDMS
The new IP-PDMS photoresist has a Young’s modulus of 15.3 MPa and is therefore approximately three orders of magnitude more elastic than the popular IP-S photoresist from Nanoscribe’s IP resin portfolio. Early adopters of the printing material appreciate its elastic elongation in tension: “IP-PDMS is a remarkably elastic printing material that can be stretched up to 240%,” says Dr René Hensel, deputy director of functional microstructures at Leibniz Institute INM. for New Materials in Saarbrücken (Germany).
The interaction of these mechanical characteristics associated with its low refractive index, chemical inertness and gas permeability are well known for standard PDMS. With the versatility of Nanoscribe’s 3D microfabrication technology and solutions, IP-PDMS offers tremendous potential for new applications and devices in life sciences, microfluidics and micromechanics. “IP-PDMS, as a 3D printable material, is of great interest for functional surfaces with micro-patterns. We can ignore the tedious molding steps to transfer designs into elastomers and new designs become feasible, ”Dr. René Hensel points out his potential for new functional surfaces.
ISO certified biocompatibility
The IP-PDMS silicone elastomer exhibits properties similar to those of conventional PDMS. Photoresist is the optimal choice for 3D printing of soft, flexible and elastic microstructures. In addition, the non-cytotoxic properties of IP-PDMS have been tested according to ISO standards. Therefore, the new photoresist is also a promising printing material for 3D printed applications in life sciences and biology.
The new photoresist is particularly beneficial for free-form elastic cellular scaffolds or 3D designs that mimic the natural characteristics of soft tissue.