May 12, 2021

Flexible printing material IP-PDMS enhances Nanoscribe’s IP Resin portfolio

3D-printed mesh tube using IP-PDMS
3D-printed mesh tube with outstanding flexible and elastic properties as known from stents inserted into narrowed blood vessels to widen them.

Nanoscribe introduces the new IP-PDMS photoresin for 3D Microfabrication of elastomer-based applications, microsystems and devices. The biocompatible printing material is soft, highly flexible and elastic. Thus, IP-PDMS is a promising driver for 3D-printed applications in various fields, such as in life sciences, microfluidics and for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). These characteristics and the ISO-approved non-cytotoxity of the photoresin promise advances in high-precision 3D printing for cell culturing and tissue engineering.

The IP-PDMS photoresin 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 include elastic freeform cell scaffolds and tissue engineering applications, 3D-structured surfaces and microfluidic devices. “In our initial tests for 3D printing soft polymeric structures, IP-PDMS turned out to be a promising material. Personally, I am excited to exploit the new resin for microrobotic components and biomimetic scaffolds”, says PhD Ada-Ioana Bunea, Assistant Professor at the Nanolab of the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) in Copenhagen, summarizing her upcoming research projects with IP-PDMS.

Mechanical properties for 3D Microfabrication of pioneering applications

The new IP-PDMS photoresin shows a Young’s modulus of 15.3 MPa and is thus about three orders of magnitude more elastic than the popular IP-S photoresin of Nanoscribe’s IP Resin portfolio. First users of the printing material appreciate its elastic tensile elongation: “IP-PDMS is a remarkably elastic printing material that can be stretched by up to 240%”, says Dr. René Hensel, Deputy Head of Functional Microstructures at the Leibniz INM – Institute for New Materials in Saarbrücken (Germany). The interplay of these mechanical characteristics paired with its low refractive index, chemical inertness and gas permeability are well-known for standard PDMS. Together with the versatility of Nanoscribe’s 3D Microfabrication technology and solutions, IP-PDMS offers considerable potentials for novel applications and devices in life sciences, microfluidics and micromechanics. “IP-PDMS, as a 3D printable material, is highly interesting for micropatterned functional surfaces. We can skip time-consuming molding steps to transfer designs into elastomers and new designs become feasible”, Dr. René Hensel emphasizes its potentials for new functional surfaces.

ISO-approved biocompatibility for life science applications

The silicone-based elastomer IP-PDMS features properties which are similar to those of conventional PDMS. The photoresin is the optimum choice for 3D printing soft, flexible and elastic microstructures. Moreover, the non-cytotoxic properties of IP-PDMS have been tested according to ISO standards. Therefore, the new photoresin is also a promising printing material for 3D-printed applications in life sciences and biology. The new photoresin is particularly advantageous for elastic freeform cell scaffolds or 3D designs mimicking the natural characteristics of soft tissue.

Interested in this new biocompatible and flexible photoresin for microoptics? Learn more about IP-PDMS.

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