Tiny 3D-printed medical camera can be injected with a syringe

The penetration of special medical devices into the body is always associated with discomfort and the danger of rejection. Therefore, German scientists from the University of Stuttgart decided to find a way to make this process more comfortable, safe and painless. To do this, they developed a complex system of microlenses the size of a crystal of salt.

To achieve the desired result, the scientists required submicron precision. For this, 3D printing technology was used, which made it possible to print 2 or more lenses at the same time. As it turned out, using a multi-lens, it became possible to correct aberration (blurry image), obtaining high quality images from smaller devices.

As a tool for creating a lens, the scientists decided to use a femtosecond laser with a pulse duration of 100 femtoseconds. With its help, they "exploded" a light-sensitive material located on a glass substrate.

Scientists have applied this technology to print components of an optical microscope with a diameter and length of 125 micrometers. They attached the resulting product to a piece of fiberglass 1.7 m long and 2 human hairs wide.

The result of the researchers' work is a camera attached to an endoscope, which is easily placed in the channel of a standard syringe needle, which allows it to be inserted into various organs, including the brain.