Replica molding is widely used to reproduce the surface microstructures that provide living organisms with distinct and useful functions. However, the existing methods are limited by the low resolution resulting from the air trapped in the structures during precursor solution loading. This study investigated replica molding with an air-through-precursor suction (APS) process, which used a degassed polydimethylsiloxane substrate to remove the trapped air through the precursor solution. The liquid loading times are characterized using a model template, and air suction that is up to 36 times faster can be achieved using the APS process relative to a conventional method. Using APS replica molding, biocompatible replicates from human fingerprints and gecko skin are fabricated using only a 3 min precursor solution loading step. Owing to the enhanced and reproducible resolution from APS replica molding, for the first time, the structural changes in the foot of a living gecko at the microscale can be observed when standing on a horizontal or vertical surface.
|Publication status||Published - 2022 Dec 1|
- high-resolution surface replication
- living organisms
- rapid precursor loading
- replica molding
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)