A new process, decoupled functional imprint lithography (D-FIL), is presented for fabricating low elastic modulus polymeric nanocarriers possessing Young's modulus of bulk material as low as sub-1 MPa. This method is employed to fabricate sub-50 nm diameter cylinders with >3:1 aspect ratio and other challenging shapes from low elastic modulus polymers such as N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAM) and poly(ethylene glycol) di-acrylate (PEGDA), possessing Young's modulus of bulk material <10 MPa which is cannot otherwise be imprinted in similar size and pitch using existing imprint techniques. Standard imprint lithography polymers have Young's modulus >1 GPa, and so these polymers used in nanocarrier fabrication in comparison have very low elastic modulus. Monodispersed, shape- and size-specific nanocarriers composed of NIPAM with material elastic modulus of <1 MPa have been fabricated and show thermal responsive behavior at the lower critical solubility temperature (LCST) of ∼32 °C. In addition, re-entrant shaped nanocarriers composed of PEGDA with elastic modulus <10 MPa are also fabricated. Nanocarriers fabricated from PEGDA are shown with model imaging agent and anticancer drug (Doxorubicin) encapsulated in as small as 50 nm cylindrical nanocarriers.
Scalable Fabrication of Low Elastic Modulus Polymeric Nanocarriers With Controlled Shapes for Diagnostics and Drug Delivery
Contributed by the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MICRO- AND NANO-MANUFACTURING. Manuscript received April 7, 2014; final manuscript received October 21, 2014; published online November 20, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Nicholas Fang.
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Singh, V., Agarwal, R., Jurney, P., Marshall, K., Roy, K., Shi, L., and Sreenivasan, S. (March 1, 2015). "Scalable Fabrication of Low Elastic Modulus Polymeric Nanocarriers With Controlled Shapes for Diagnostics and Drug Delivery." ASME. J. Micro Nano-Manuf. March 2015; 3(1): 011002. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4028896
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