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Laminar Flow-Based Fiber Fabrication and Encoding via Two-Photon Lithography

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posted on 10.11.2020, 21:44 by Xiaobao Cao, Quan Gao, Shangkun Li, Songtao Hu, Jing Wang, Peter Fischer, Stavros Stavrakis, Andrew J. deMello
In recent years, flow photolithography (FL) has emerged as a powerful synthetic tool for the creation of barcoded microparticles with complex morphologies and chemical compositions which have been shown to be useful in a range of multiplexed bioassay applications. More specifically, FL has been highly successful in producing micron-sized, encoded particles of bespoke shape, size, and color. That said, to date, FL has been restricted to generating barcoded microparticles and has lacked the ability to produce hybrid fibers which are structurally and spectrally encoded. To this end, we herein present a method that combines a continuous flow microfluidic system with two-photon polymerization (2PP) to fabricate microscale-encoded fibers and Janus strips in a high-throughput manner. Specifically, two co-flow liquid streams containing a monomer and initiator are introduced through a Y-shape channel to form a stable interface in the center of a microfluidic channel. The flow containing the (fluorescently labeled) monomer is then patterned by scanning the voxel of the 2PP laser across the interface to selectively polymerize different regions of the forming fiber/particle. Such a process allows for rapid spectral encoding at the single fiber level, with the resulting structurally coded fibers having obvious application in the fields of security identification and anticounterfeiting.