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Research Papers

J. Micro Nano-Manuf. 2017;6(2):021001-021001-9. doi:10.1115/1.4038629.

The micro/nanotextured cemented carbide surface of different wettability was produced by laser scanning and fluorinated treatment. The tribological properties of the untextured, oleophobic and oleophilic micro/nanotextured surface were investigated experimentally including the effects of crank speed and contact pressure by a reciprocating friction and a wear tester. For all tested surfaces, the friction coefficient of the surface decreased as both the increasing crank speed and contact pressure increased. Compared to the untextured surface, the friction coefficient of the micro/nanotextured surface was significantly decreased, being sensitive to the wettability of the surface. Besides, the tribological properties of the oleophobic micro/nanotextured surface were superior to the oleophilic micro/nanotextured surface under the same experimental conditions. The improvement in tribological properties of the oleophobic micro/nanotextured surface could be attributed to the low wettability, which was beneficial to rapid accumulation of the lubricating oil on the surface.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Micro Nano-Manuf. 2017;6(2):021002-021002-7. doi:10.1115/1.4038675.

This paper develops a novel standing surface acoustic wave (SAW) device with three pairs of interdigital transducers (IDTs) to fabricate the patterned microstructure arrays with the assistance of ultraviolet (UV) polymerization. The working principle, structural design, and fabrication of the SAW device are presented. Then, experimental setup was conducted to investigate the fabrication process and method of the patterned microstructure arrays on a thin photosensitive polymer surface. By adjusting the working wavelength and input voltage and selecting the pairs of IDTs, several types of patterned microstructure arrays, such as linear and latticed undulate with different surface morphologies, could be fabricated. For the application of the microstructure arrays, L929 mouse fibroblasts are cultured on the surface with linear undulate microstructure arrays. Preliminary results showed that the cells aligned well with the direction of the patterned surface and the array can enhance the cell culturing. Therefore, using the developed SAW device with the assistance of UV polymerization is an effective method to fabricate the patterned microstructure arrays, which may have great potential in the applications of biomedical and/or microelectronic fields.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Micro Nano-Manuf. 2018;6(2):021003-021003-7. doi:10.1115/1.4038803.

Engineered microenvironments along with robust quantitative models of cell shape metrology that can decouple the effect of various well-defined cues on a stem cell's phenotypic response would serve as an illuminating tool for testing mechanistic hypotheses on how stem cell fate is fundamentally regulated. As an experimental testbed to probe the effect of geometrical confinement on cell morphology, three-dimensional (3D) poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) layered fibrous meshes are fabricated with an in-house melt electrospinning writing system (MEW). Gradual confinement states of fibroblasts are demonstrated by seeding primary fibroblasts on defined substrates, including a classical two-dimensional (2D) petri dish and porous 3D fibrous substrates with microarchitectures tunable within a tight cellular dimensional scale window (1–50 μm). To characterize fibroblast confinement, a quantitative 3D confocal fluorescence imaging workflow for 3D cell shape representation is presented. The methodology advanced allows the extraction of cellular and subcellular morphometric features including the number, location, and 3D distance distribution metrics of the shape-bearing focal adhesion (FA) proteins.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Micro Nano-Manuf. 2018;6(2):021004-021004-6. doi:10.1115/1.4039031.

In this work, investigations were made for enhancing wear properties of rapid tooling (RT) by reinforcement of fillers (nanoscaled) for grinding applications. The RT has been prepared by using biocompatible composite material (BCCM) feed stock filament (consisting of Nylon 6 as a binder, reinforced with biocompatible nanoscale Al2O3 particles) on fused deposition modeling (FDM) for the development of grinding wheel having customized wear-resistant properties. A comparative study has been conducted under dry sliding conditions in order to understand the tribological characteristics of FDM printed RT of BCCM and commercially used acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) material. This study also highlights the various wear mechanisms (such as adhesive, fatigue, and abrasive) encountered during experimentation. Finally, the FDM printed RT of proposed BCCM feedstock filament is more suitable for grinding applications especially in clinical dentistry.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Technical Brief

J. Micro Nano-Manuf. 2017;6(2):024501-024501-5. doi:10.1115/1.4038676.

This paper presents graphene growth on Pt thin films deposited with four different adhesion layers: Ti, Cr, Ta, and Ni. During the graphene growth at 1000 °C using conventional chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method, these adhesion layers diffuse into and alloy with Pt layer resulting in graphene to grown on different alloys. This means that each different adhesion layers induce a different quality and number of layer(s) of graphene grown on the Pt thin film. This paper presents the feasibility of graphene growth on Pt thin films with various adhesion layers and the obstacles needed to overcome in order to enhance graphene transfer from Pt thin films. Therefore, this paper addresses one of the major difficulties of graphene growth and transfer to the implementation of graphene in nano/micro-electromechanical systems (NEMS/MEMS) devices.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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