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Breakthrough for lab-on-a-chip material

Researchers at Sweden’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology have developed a new polymer suited for photostructuring – which opens new possibilities for medical diagnostics, biophotonics and 3D printing.

The so-called off-stoichiometry thiol-enes (OSTE) polymer was developed at KTH specifically to meet the need for a material suitable for both experimental prototyping and large-scale manufacturing of labs-on-a-chip – or, miniaturized bioanalytical laboratories.

“It can be very useful in a variety of applications such as near-patient diagnostic tools,” says one of the developers, Tommy Haraldsson, docent in the department Micro and Nanosystems at KTH.

One of the unique qualities of OSTE polymer is that its surface is chemically reactive without adding anything or preparing the surface in a special way. Now, another benefit has been revealed.

Micro-scale pillars
Micro-scale pillars formed – or, photostructured – in the OSTE polymer using UV light
Photo courtesy of KTH Royal Institute of Technology)