Biodegradable polymers are employed in medicine and its further application is expected with eagerness. But the lack of an appropriate processing method retards the progress. To overcome this problem, we have developped a novel three-dimensional microfabrication system. The system design allows us the processing of the free three-dimensional micro-level forms by stacking up melted polymers from the nozzle. Different from the conventional method, we adopted a batch process to supply materials in order to eliminate the prior process that required toxic solvents. In addition, it is possible to handle almost all biodegradable thermoplastic resins by adopting this system. A single layer from the piled-up layers of extruded lines was observed to evaluate the resolution. The lateral and depth resolutions attained are 40 μm and 45 μm, respectively. Biodegradable polymers enable three-dimensional microstructures such as micro-pipes, micro-bends, and micro-coil springs to be manufactured in less than 15 min. The biocompatibility of the newly fabricated structure was evaluated using a cell line (PC12). For this purpose, a small vessel, with a transparent base, was fabricated using PLA and cells were cultivated in it. The results were then compared with the results obtained using the standard method. The mechanical strength of our microstructures was evaluated using a tensile strength test. The tensile strength of the microstructure was lower than the one obtained from the conventional method, but has enough strength for fabrication of medical devices. Our system renders it possible to produce toxic-free, as well as transparent and leakage-free devices. Our system is expected to have potential applications in optimum design and fabrication of implantable devices, especially in tissue engineering.

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