DOI: 10.1126/science.adi1563 ISSN: 0036-8075

Self-enhancing sono-inks enable deep-penetration acoustic volumetric printing

Xiao Kuang, Qiangzhou Rong, Saud Belal, Tri Vu, Alice M. López López, Nanchao Wang, Mehmet Onur Arıcan, Carlos Ezio Garciamendez-Mijares, Maomao Chen, Junjie Yao, Yu Shrike Zhang
  • Multidisciplinary

Volumetric printing, an emerging additive manufacturing technique, builds objects with enhanced printing speed and surface quality by forgoing the stepwise ink-renewal step. Existing volumetric printing techniques almost exclusively rely on light energy to trigger photopolymerization in transparent inks, limiting material choices and build sizes. We report a self-enhancing sonicated ink (or sono-ink) design and corresponding focused-ultrasound writing technique for deep-penetration acoustic volumetric printing (DAVP). We used experiments and acoustic modeling to study the frequency and scanning rate–dependent acoustic printing behaviors. DAVP achieves the key features of low acoustic streaming, rapid sonothermal polymerization, and large printing depth, enabling the printing of volumetric hydrogels and nanocomposites with various shapes regardless of their optical properties. DAVP also allows printing at centimeter depths through biological tissues, paving the way toward minimally invasive medicine.

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