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Nanotechnology

MIT's Nanoprinter Could Mass-produce Nano-devices

13 years, 11 months ago

1510  0
Posted on Jun 13, 2005, 6 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Just as the printing press revolutionized the creation of reading matter, a "nano-printing" technique developed at MIT could enable the mass production of nano-devices currently built one at a time. The most immediate candidate for this innovation is the DNA microarray, a nano-device used to diagnose and understand genetic illnesses such as Alzheimer's, viral illnesses such as AIDS, and certain types of cancer.

Just as the printing press revolutionized the creation of reading matter, a "nano-printing" technique developed at MIT could enable the mass production of nano-devices currently built one at a time. The most immediate candidate for this innovation is the DNA microarray, a nano-device used to diagnose and understand genetic illnesses such as Alzheimer's, viral illnesses such as AIDS, and certain types of cancer. The ability to mass produce these complex devices would make DNA analysis as common and inexpensive as blood testing, and thus greatly accelerate efforts to discover the origins of disease.

The demand for ever-shrinking devices of ever-increasing complexity in areas from biomedicine to information technology has spurred several research efforts toward high-resolution, high-throughput nano-printing techniques. Now researchers led by Professor Francesco Stellacci of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering have developed a printing method that is unmatched in both information content per printing cycle and resolution. They achieved the latter using what Arum Amy Yu, an MSE graduate student and member of the research team, calls "nature's most efficient printing technique: the DNA/RNA information transfer."


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