Commuting Dust Mites

i-b9a6aac5a2931d914f89cf9c558dfdbe-Racecar-thumb-300x225-73166.jpg
This is a 285 micrometer racecar, printed at the Vienna University of Technology. Credit: Vienna University of Technology

Imagine a car small enough for a dust mite. Crazy, right?

Well, with new printing technology, this just might be possible.

The 3D printer uses a liquid resin, which is hardened at precisely the correct spots by a focused laser beam. The focal point of the laser beam is guided through the resin by movable mirrors and leaves behind a polymerized line of solid polymer, just a few hundred nanometers wide. This high resolution enables the creation of intricately structured sculptures as tiny as a grain of sand. "Until now, this technique used to be quite slow", says Professor Jürgen Stampfl from the Institute of Materials Science and Technology at the TU Vienna. "The printing speed used to be measured in millimeters per second - our device can do five meters in one second." In two-photon lithography, this is a world record.

Admittedly, this "racecar" is just a model, but it is sufficiently small, at 285 micrometers in length, to accommodate that dust mite:

i-8555d207e8cb10495d39b46e1a4d33de-Dust_Mite_1-thumb-960x720-73169.png

I know, the world does not need commuting dust mites, but I love the possibilities of such technology!

More like this

Every Spring, you can count on a handful of posts here at ERV on allergies. Ive got em. I hate em. But I recognize that in many ways, Im 'lucky' as far as allergies go. I only have to deal with them for a few months of the year, I can move somewhere else and not have to worry about them at all…
This color image is a three dimensional (3D) view of a digital elevation map of a sample collected by NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's Atomic Force Microscope (AFM). The image shows four round pits, only 5 microns in depth, that were micromachined into the silicon substrate, which is the background…
Some mites are known to live exclusively in moist grasslands and pastures, where they break down vegetable matter (including livestock excrement) to provide a rich food source. Studying ancient civilizations can be difficult when they have left no detailed written records behind. But researchers…
SUPPLEMENTARY FIGURE 22. Three-color multi-harmonic SI mode rendering of nuclear histones (blue), the nuclear membrane (red), and the actin cytoskeleton (green) in a fixed LLC-PK1 cell. Histones are labeled with mNeptune / H2B; the nuclear envelope is labeled with mEmerald / lamin B1; and the…

use dust mites to control harmful other? train mites for scientific research in the micro world?