In-Vivo-Writing using Two-Photon-Photopolymerization
Blue and ulraviolet light potentially damage biological tissue. This limits the use of UV-based lithographic techniques in combination with living organisms. But biological tissues are very transparent to red and infrared light, as everyone knows who has been shining with a flash-lamp through his hand. Using infrared laser in combination with photopolymers exhibiting high two-photon-crossection, researchers at Vienna University of technology have been able for the first time to perform additive manufacturing on a living organism.
On the video you can see a Nematode (Caenorhabditis elegans), a common model organism used for laboratory research. It gets caught in a scaffold built up by two-photon-photopolymerization. The finfrared laser beam does not harm the animal. Even when the focus point hits inner organs of the animal, it does not take any injuries.
Due to the residual toxicity of the monomer we are limited in polymerization time. As high laser intensities are possible we can polymerize with a reasonable high speed. Due to this fact we can build comparatively big stuctures in high reolution within 15-20minutes. The scaffold shown on the video has a 300x300µm big base area and is about 80µm high.
Contact: Jan Torgersen