3D printed micro-rockets for drug delivery

Xiubo Zhao from The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Sheffield University has created microscopic swimming devices using MicroFab's JetlabĀ® printing systems. Thetiny rockets, which measure 300 by 100 microns, actually create their own thrust, enabling them to swim through bio fluids. How? A form of inkjet 3D printing is used to deposit a solution of dissolved silk mixed with an enzyme called catalase. Layers of dissolved silk mixed with an enzyme called catalase are built up with other methanol layers by the MicroFab's drop-on-demand printer. A chemical reaction between the methanol and the solution forms the rigid rocket shape of the device, trapping the enzyme within a silk lattice. The catalase then reacts with fuel molecules, producing bubbles which propel the rocket forward.

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July 2016