Wrinkled 'skin' on polymers!

Applied scientists demonstrated a new method for developing wrinkled hard skins on the surface areas of polymers using a focused ion beam. By controlling the direction and intensity of the ion beam, the researchers literally sculpted patterns on flat areas of polydimethylsiloxane, a silicon-based organic polymer (more commonly known as the primary ingredient in Silly Putty). The technique has potential use for biological sensors and microfluidic devices and may offer new ways to build custom-made cell templates for tissue engineering.Such patterns can be used in the construction of microfluidic devices for particle separation and mixture and also have potential use in designing biosenors. The researchers have also started a close collaboration with scientists at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology aimed at exploring the behavior of living cells on these patterned substrates. Such research may lead to the development of an effective and robust method to build custom templates for engineering and growing tissues.

Source: physorg.comAdded: 21 March 2007