Scientists use ultrasound to create a pattern of microscopic droplets

Scientists have shown that it is possible to create precise, predefined patterns on a surface from droplets or particles

aerosol using computer-controlled ultrasound.

“It has already been shown that the power of ultrasoundlifts small particles into the air. We are delighted to have significantly expanded the range of applications by creating a pattern of dense clouds of material in the air at scale and the ability to algorithmically control how the material takes shape. "

Professor Mike Fraser of the Department of Computer Science, University of Bath

Researchers believe that their work canrevolutionize printing by improving the speed, cost and accuracy of non-contact in-air printing techniques. Their work is already showing the potential of sonolithography for biotechnology.

Sonolithography allows you to gently, contactless andquickly create patterns of cells and biomaterials on surfaces. Tissue engineering can use biotechnology techniques to create specific structures from cells and materials. We are adding new techniques to the biotechnology toolbox.

“The objects we manipulate are sizedwater droplets in the clouds. It's incredibly fun to be able to move such small objects with such precise control. This could allow us to direct aerosol cans with unprecedented precision, for example, for drug delivery or wound healing. ”

Professor Bruce Drinkwater, Professor of Ultrasound, Bristol Department of Mechanical Engineering

In addition to biomedical applications, the teamshowed that the method is applicable to a wide variety of materials. Printed electronics is another area the team is looking to develop, with sonolithography being used to place conductive ink in circuits and components.

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