text-only page produced automatically by LIFT Text Transcoder Skip all navigation and go to page contentSkip top navigation and go to directorate navigationSkip top navigation and go to page navigation
National Science Foundation Home National Science Foundation - Office of International and Integrative Activities (IIA)
Office of International and Integrative Activities (IIA)
design element
IIA Home
About IIA
Funding Opportunities
Awards
News
Events
Discoveries
Publications
Career Opportunities
View IIA Staff
IIA Organizations
Integrative Programs and Activities
International Science and Engineering (ISE)
Office of Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR)
Proposals and Awards
Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide
  Introduction
Proposal Preparation and Submission
bullet Grant Proposal Guide
  bullet Grants.gov Application Guide
Award and Administration
bullet Award and Administration Guide
Award Conditions
Other Types of Proposals
Merit Review
NSF Outreach
Policy Office
Other Site Features
Special Reports
Research Overviews
Multimedia Gallery
Classroom Resources
NSF-Wide Investments

Email this pagePrint this page
All Images


Press Release 12-045
Researchers 'Print' Polymers That Bend Into 3-D Shapes

Technique could be used to direct growth of blood vessels or tissues in the laboratory

Back to article | Note about images

Image illustrating how a two-dimensional sheet can bend into a three-dimensional shape.

Researchers have determined how to control the shape of a polymer system at the micro-scale with a technique akin to half-tone printing.

The polymer they use swells like a microscopic sponge when exposed to water, however printing 'resist dots' in the polymer substrate creates points that will not swell (1). When all resist dots in one area are the same size, the area undergoes uniform expansion and the structure remains flat (2). When the dot size changes, however, buckling occurs from the mismatch in growth from one area to another (3). With a proper half-tone pattern of resist dots, almost any 3-D shape can be achieved. The illustration shows a square piece of polymer. Each side of the square is roughly the width of a mechanical pencil lead. If it were possible to draw a world map on this square, we could watch the map warp and wrap itself into almost a perfect sphere, a micro-globe.

Credit: Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation


Download the high-resolution JPG version of the image. (572 KB)

Use your mouse to right-click (Mac users may need to Ctrl-click) the link above and choose the option that will save the file or target to your computer.

Cover of the March 9, 2012 issue of the journal Science.

The researchers' work is described in the March 9, 2012 issue of the journal Science.

Credit: Copyright AAAS 2012


Download the high-resolution JPG version of the image. (1.1 MB)

Use your mouse to right-click (Mac users may need to Ctrl-click) the link above and choose the option that will save the file or target to your computer.



Email this pagePrint this page
Back to Top of page