This paper reports the microfabrication of a polymer-ceramic hybrid material (Ormocomp®) with a low cost Nd:YAG picosecond laser system. Both the process resolution and the fabrication of three-dimensional (3D) microobjects were studied. Microstructures were fabricated on microscope slides with a moving xyz platform and a real-time process monitoring system by tracking the contours of the structure with the laser focus, followed by rinsing away the unpolymerized resin. The evaluation of the process resolution was based on the scanning electron microscope (SEM) images of socalled voxels and polymer lines. The dimensions of the produced structures varied greatly depending on the laser focus position and the process parameters used. The minimum achievable feature size was found to be approximately 1 μm. Microcylinders, cones and cone arrays were fabricated and studied with SEM imaging. The biocompatibility of the Ormocomp ®-photoinitiator combination was also demonstrated with human embryonic stem cell-derived neuronal cells. The fabricated structures could in the future be utilized in cell culture and drug delivery applications.
Keywords: Microfabrication, microneedle, Nd:YAG laser, Ormocer®, Ormocomp®, two-photon polymerization
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