Production of Lipid Constructs by Design via Three-Dimensional Nanoprinting


Yuqi Huang, Arpad Karsai, Pallavi D. Sambre, Wan-Chih Su, Roland Faller, Atul N. Parikh, and Gang-yu Liu*, Micromachines 14, 372, 2023

Atomic force microscopy (AFM) in conjunction with microfluidic delivery was utilized to produce three-dimensional (3D) lipid structures following a custom design. While AFM is wellknown for its spatial precision in imaging and 2D nanolithography, the development of AFM-based nanotechnology into 3D nanoprinting requires overcoming the technical challenges of controlling material delivery and interlayer registry. This work demonstrates the concept of 3D nanoprinting of amphiphilic molecules such as 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC). Various formulations of POPC solutions were tested to achieve point, line, and layer-by-layer material delivery. The produced structures include nanometer-thick disks, long linear spherical caps, stacking grids, and organizational chiral architectures. The POPC molecules formed stacking bilayers in these constructions, as revealed by high-resolution structural characterizations. The 3D printing reached nanometer spatial precision over a range of 0.5 mm. The outcomes reveal the promising potential of our designed technology and methodology in the production of 3D structures from nanometer to continuum, opening opportunities in biomaterial sciences and engineering, such as in the production of 3D nanodevices, chiral nanosensors, and scaffolds for tissue engineering and regeneration.