Small. 2009, 5, No. 1, 120-125.

Microreplication and Design of Biological Architectures Using Dynamic-Mask Multiphoton Lithography

R. Nielson, B. Kaehr, and J. B. Shear

A strategy for rapidly printing three-dimensional (3D) microscopic replicas using multiphoton lithography directed by a dynamic electronic mask is reported. Morphological descriptions of 3D structures are encoded as stacks of 2D slices created from tomographic and computer-designed instruction sets. In this manner, digital images serve as input for a sequence of reflective photomasks on a digital micromirror device to direct replication of a structure. By scanning a laser focus across the face of the intrinsically aligned masks, tomographic and computed data can be translated into protein-based 3D reproductions with submicrometer feature sizes within 1 min. This straightforward and highly versatile approach may provide improved routes for the development of 3D cellular scaffolds, rapid prototyping of microanalytical devices, and production of custom tissue replacements.