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Bioinspir Biomim. 2010 Sep;5(3):036001. doi: 10.1088/1748-3182/5/3/036001. Epub 2010 Jul 22.

Mass fabrication technique for polymeric replicas of arrays of insect corneas.

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Materials Research Institute, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, 16802, USA.


Motivated to develop a technique for producing many high-fidelity replicas for the sacrifice of a single biotemplate, we combined a modified version of the conformal-evaporated-film-by-rotation technique and electroforming to produce a master negative made of nickel from a composite biotemplate comprising several corneas of common blowflies. This master negative can function as either a mold for casting multiple replicas or a die for stamping multiple replicas. An approximately 250 nm thick nickel film was thermally deposited on an array of blowfly corneas to capture the surface features with high fidelity and then a roughly 60 microm thick structural layer of nickel was electroformed onto the thin layer to give it the structural integrity needed for casting or stamping. The master negative concurrently captured the spatial features of the biotemplate at length scales ranging from 200 nm to a few millimeters. Polymer replicas produced thereafter by casting did faithfully reproduce features of a few micrometers and larger in dimension.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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