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One-step Non-uniform Photolithography System for Three-dimensional Conically Shaped Microwell Fabrication

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posted on 2024-03-18, 18:02 authored by Ahmad Ali Manzoor

Conical microwells are utilized in a wide range of biological applications such as cell spheroid formation, drug screening, cancer diagnostics, and three-dimensional oncology models. The shape of a microwell is an important parameter that defines its applicability. Currently, there exists no facile fabrication method for the creation of such conically shaped microwells. In this study, we develop a new platform based on non-uniform photopolymerization that effectively facilitates the synthesis of three-dimensional (3D) polymer-based conical microwells on a glass substrate in a simple 2D microfluidic channel. We also numerically investigate the parabolic curvature formation of microwells using non-uniform photolithography (NUPL) via incorporation of spatiotemporal free-radical diffusion into the modeling of photopolymerization to gain insights into its key mechanisms. We also perform numerical simulations to model the 3D-shape tuning ability of NUPL for the microwell synthesis through a variation of UV light intensity induced by the presence of opaque materials. The result of this study leads to characterize the morphological microwell shape change experimentally through a variation of UV light intensity and fluid opacity. Simply by manipulating the non-uniformity of the incident UV light, we are able to fabricate 3D V-shaped microwells with various bottom shape features. Notably, our method allows one to optimize and design polymeric microwells with shape features tuned to their application.

History

Language

eng

Degree

  • Doctor of Philosophy

Program

  • Chemical Engineering

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • Dissertation

Thesis Advisor

Dae Kun Hwang

Year

2022

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    Chemical Engineering (Theses)

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