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Engineers at the University of Maryland (UMD) have created a new multi-material 3-D nanoprinting technique that was featured on the inside front cover of the July 21 issue of Lab on a Chip.

The team's new technique—capable of printing tiny multi-material structures a fraction of the size of a human hair—offers researchers a faster, cheaper, and more accurate means to 3-D print these highly because the process uses a very simple molding process that is widely used in most microfluidics labs.

To demonstrate their new approach, the researchers 3-D nanoprinted a variety of multi-material components, including a five-material DNA structure, a multi-material "micro-cello," and a four-material micro UMD logo.

"By providing researchers with an accessible way to 3-D nanoprint multi-material systems that is not only much quicker, but also more precise than conventional methods, this work opens doors for emerging applications that demand microstructures with multiple materials, and in turn, multiple functions," said Ryan Sochol, an assistant professor in and bioengineering at UMD's A. James Clark School of Engineering.

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