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New Laser Technique Slashes Cancer Research Costs
In a move that slashes 90 percent of the cost of mass-producing metastatic microtumors and therapeutic microtissues for screening and research, Rice University bioengineers have adapted techniques from the "maker" movement to reprogram a commercial laser cutter to etch up to 50,000 tiny "microwells" per hour into sheets of silicone. The fabrication technique was developed with open-source software and hardware. The cost-saving microwell fabrication technique uses a commercial CO2 laser to fire millisecond laser pulses at a sheet of poly(dimethylsiloxane), a silicone-based organic and biocompatible polymer. "??Microwells can be used to grow tiny clusters of cells,"?%9D said Rice bioengineering researcher Jordan Miller, the lead researcher on the new study. "??These clusters, or multicellular aggregates, contain 50-100 cells and have many potential applications, but they have been difficult to mass-produce."?%9D
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