High Precision 3D Printing at Georgia Tech’s Institute of Electronics and Nanotechnology

The Micro/Nano Fabrication Facility in the Institute of Electronics and Nanotechnology (IEN) at Georgia Tech (GT) offers lab and cleanroom access to researchers within the GT community and non-GT affiliated users. With over 200 tools, the Micro/Nano Fabrication Facility provides a central entry point and organization for interdisciplinary research. IEN had a Nanoscribe printer for nanoscale devices, but needed a solution for microscale builds. This led the team to procure a microArch S140, a 10µm resolution printer.

High precision 3D printing is transforming the life sciences and MedTech industries in many unexpected ways. These three cases showcase some of the cutting-edge research coming out of Georgia Tech using high precision 3D printing.

Microneedles for Eye Injections

Dr. Mark Prausnitz and his team at the Laboratory for Drug Delivery research biophysical methods of drug delivery using microneedles, ultrasound, lasers, electric fields, heat, convective forces and more.

The lab is researching the use of hollow microneedles for injection into the eye. Microneedles allow for precise targeting into specific intraocular tissues for a minimally invasive drug delivery approach. In their research, the team used Georgia Tech’s microArch S140 to print components needed to facilitate these microneedle injections into the eye. Dr. Prausnitz’s research on microneedles requires components that are small in size, on the scale of microns. The microArch S140 allows for the creation of custom components to the exact dimensions needed.

Dr. Prausnitz's microneedle for eye injections
500µm hole in the microneedle for eye injection

Implantable Pressure Sensors

The Sensors for Living Systems Lab finds innovative methods to make measurements to extract information from biological systems. One of the lab’s projects centers on developing an implantable pressure sensor for continuously monitoring intracranial pressure in patients with hydrocephalus. Our device signal output relies on microfluidic channels that are embedded within the sensor. To fabricate these channels, we rely on Georgia Tech’s microArch S140 printer to create microfluidic molds with tight tolerances. Using the microArch S140 in their research also allows the team to rapidly iterate prototype designs.

3D printed implantable pressure sensors for continuously monitoring intracranial pressure

Microneedles for Drug Delivery

Microneedles can be used to deliver drugs while being minimally invasive to the patient. Using the microArch S140, researchers at Georgia Tech can create an array of needles quickly, reliably and with high resolution. The printer can be used to create unique geometry not easily done on conventional 3D printers.

High Precision 3D Printed microneedle array
Microneedle array under a microscope

Using the Printer

Georgia Tech’s microArch S140 is available for anyone to use at IEN’s Micro/Nano Facility. After receiving clean room training, users can rent time in the lab for access to the printer. The lab provides training on how to use the printer and support during the printing process.

For more information on using the microArch S140 in IEN’s Micro/Nano Facility, please contact Nik Roeske or visit IEN’s BMF page. For more information on high precision 3D printing with Projection Micro Stereolithography, please contact BMF.