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Introduction to 2D printing

When used as the input to spatially program cell behavior, the information flow of chemical communication transmits in a diffusive way, which results in uneven distribution and requires a relatively large time scale. The diffusion of chemicals also results in obscure boundaries in chemical printing.

Unlike chemical printing, which relies on inducer chemicals to make cells respond, photo-printing is based on beam(s) of parallel light and is able to compensate for what chemical printing lacks. Compared to chemicals, light is also inexpensive. A wide spectrum of light is not toxic to cells and usually cannot introduce interference into intrinsic cellular pathways, which makes photo-printing a safer alternative. With the higher resolution on the spatiotemporal scale, parallel light enables a clear and distinct boundary that is suitable for printing. The incoherence of different parallel light, the coherence of lasers, and the homogeneity of parallel light also enables more detailed prints. The wide spectrum of light provides various options, which in turn allows for more convenient and precise printing.

Previously, the main light source for photo-printing in prior studies was the laser, which came with the danger of causing cell damage due to the high energy waves. However, our experiments on photo-printing demonstrated that our parts are sensitive to the luminance in the moon-light scale, which suggests that we might exploit biologically friendly dim light, rather than laser beam (s).

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