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Adv Mater. 2018 May;30(22):e1800001. doi: 10.1002/adma.201800001. Epub 2018 Apr 14.

Desktop-Stereolithography 3D-Printing of a Poly(dimethylsiloxane)-Based Material with Sylgard-184 Properties.

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Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington, 3720 15th Ave NE, Foege Building N423A, Seattle, WA, 98195, USA.


The advantageous physiochemical properties of poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) have made it an extremely useful material for prototyping in various technological, scientific, and clinical areas. However, PDMS molding is a manual procedure and requires tedious assembly steps, especially for 3D designs, thereby limiting its access and usability. On the other hand, automated digital manufacturing processes such as stereolithography (SL) enable true 3D design and fabrication. Here the formulation, characterization, and SL application of a 3D-printable PDMS resin (3DP-PDMS) based on commercially available PDMS-methacrylate macromers, a high-efficiency photoinitiator and a high-absorbance photosensitizer, is reported. Using a desktop SL-printer, optically transparent submillimeter structures and microfluidic channels are demonstrated. An optimized blend of PDMS-methacrylate macromers is also used to SL-print structures with mechanical properties similar to conventional thermally cured PDMS (Sylgard-184). Furthermore, it is shown that SL-printed 3DP-PDMS substrates can be rendered suitable for mammalian cell culture. The 3DP-PDMS resin enables assembly-free, automated, digital manufacturing of PDMS, which should facilitate the prototyping of devices for microfluidics, organ-on-chip platforms, soft robotics, flexible electronics, and sensors, among others.


3D-printing; elastomers; microfluidics; poly(dimethylsiloxane); stereolithography


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