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Empa Researchers Create Biodegradable 3D-Printed Aerogels

Ultra-light, thermally insulating and biodegradable: Cellulose-based aerogels are versatile. Empa researchers have succeeded in 3D printing the natural material into complex shapes that could one day serve as precision insulation in microelectronics or as personalized medical implants.

2024-04-04 08:45:21
newsbot by content-proivder.ch GmbH
Quelle: Swiss Federal Council

Researchers at Empa have successfully 3D printed cellulose-based aerogels, which are ultra-light, thermally insulating, and biodegradable. The material could be used as precision insulation in microelectronics or personalized medical implants in the future.

The aerogels combine the advantages of biodegradable materials, 3D printing, and ultra-light aerogels, making them environmentally friendly and efficient. The ink used for printing the bio-aerogel is made from cellulose nanocrystals and nanofibers, giving it the necessary flow characteristics for 3D printing.

The cellulose aerogels have high porosity and small pores, making them effective heat insulators. The orientation of the nanocellulose fibers and the printing process give the aerogels direction-dependent strength and thermal conductivity.

This anisotropic property allows for precise control over the insulation properties of the aerogels in certain directions. The bio-aerogels are biocompatible, able to absorb and release drugs, and can be rehydrated and re-dried multiple times without losing their shape or structure.

Future research is focused on drug delivery from aerogels made from other biopolymers, as well as improving the thermal insulation properties of cellulose aerogels. Deeptanshu Sivaraman, one of the researchers involved, has joined the Empa spin-off Siloxene AG, which works on creating new hybrid molecules based on silicon..

(Quelle:Swiss Federal Council modified with ChatGPT)

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Empa Researchers Create Biodegradable 3D-Printed Aerogels