February 13, 2013
Cambridge, MA: The nanotechnology research space is rapidly growing, with vast implications for the healthcare, consumer electronics, surveillance, and defense industries. However, a major limitation to this research is the ability to create particles that vary in shape and function on a micrometer or nanometer scale.
To overcome these limitations, chemical engineers at Johns Hopkins University have developed self-assembling particles that are inspired by origami, the traditional Japanese art of folding paper into complex three-dimensional shapes. A new article in JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments) demonstrates the fabrication and folding of these particles.
"In this video-article, we take the idea of folding up particles and demonstrate the technology in two applications. In the first application, the particles seal up because of glue like material at the edges. In the second part, we talk about structures that reconfigure in response to a stimulus," said author Dr. David Gracias of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
Dr. Gracias uses a process called photolithography to etch structural designs and flexible hinges on to a 2-D surface. When these complex patterns are exposed to the correct environmental pressures, they can be manipulated to fold and seal or open and close. This fabrication process also allows crucial structural patterns to be printed on 3-D particles, as Dr. Gracias explains: "Patterns are required for electronic circuits, and we allow patterns to be used in 3-D. The applications are numerous, ranging from drug delivery to mechanical sensing, bio-sensing technologies applicable to threat detection, surveillance, and in non-invasive surgery or biopsies."
The authors believe that the applications of this technology are far reaching, and that video publication in JoVE will expedite its adoption by other scientists. "We have developed a new
|Contact: Neal Moawed|
The Journal of Visualized Experiments