MIT Scientists Found A New Technique To Shrink 3D Objects To The Nanoscale

Jyotis - Dec 15, 2018


MIT Scientists Found A New Technique To Shrink 3D Objects To The Nanoscale

The latest invention is showing the high potentials in the variety of fields, including medicine, robotics, and optics.

The scientists from MIT have found a new technique called “implosion fabrication” to shrink almost all of 3D objects to the nanoscale. The latest invention is showing the high potentials in the variety of fields, including medicine, robotics, and optics.

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In the journal Science, research reveals that the new technique has the diverse applicability scope, and it can be applied to handle the objects made from metals, DNA, as well as quantum dots.

According to Edward Boyden, the technique can reach the accuracy up to nanoscale. For those unknown, he is working as an associate professor at the US’s Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

To design any structure and shape as desired, the scientists can use a laser to pattern a polymer scaffold. After other materials are attached to the scaffold, they shrink the prototype to the new dimensions that are one thousandth over the first object’s ones.

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The most exciting thing in this technique is that it can be available in a lot of labs of materials science and biology. That means any researcher across the world will have a chance to conduct the experiment with it.

As we can see, current techniques applied to create nanostructures have many limits. For example, you can use light to etch patterns on any surface and make nanostructures in 2D shape; however, this way is worthless to 3D structures.

There is a solution to produce 3D nanostructures: overlaying many layers onto the original surface until the finish may reach our satisfaction. However, this process is said to waste time and be difficult to implement.

Besides, the existing techniques to create objects in the 3D nanoscale can only be applied to some specific materials such as plastics or polymers, whose functional properties don’t meet the requirements of some applications.

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Among them, the expansion microscopy (ExM) technique enables researchers to embed tissues into a hydrogel to enlarge it. This aims to show high-resolution images, even when seen via an ordinary microscope.

The researchers have reversed this process to reduce the objects’ size to the nanoscale. An absorbent material is chosen as a scaffold that put into a solution containing fluorescein molecules. And then, when laser light is in contact with these molecules, they will be triggered and sticky to the scaffold.

Next, the researchers use two-photon microscopy to impact on the points lying deep inside the objects’ structure and apply the specialized gel into some location to stick the molecules of fluorescein. After that, the molecules will become anchors to attach to other molecules added by the researchers.

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