Two-photon polymerization nanolithography technology for fabrication of stimulus-responsive micro/nano-structures for biomedical applications

Zhenjia Huang, Gary Chi-Pong Tsui, Yu Deng, Chak Yin Tang

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Micro/nano-fabrication technology via two-photon polymerization (TPP) nanolithography is a powerful and useful manufacturing tool that is capable of generating two dimensional (2D) to three dimensional (3D) arbitrary micro/nano-structures of various materials with a high spatial resolution. This technology has received tremendous interest in cell and tissue engineering and medical microdevices because of its remarkable fabrication capability for sophisticated structures from macro-to nano-scale, which are difficult to be achieved by traditional methods with limited microarchitecture controllability. To fabricate precisely designed 3D micro/nano-structures for biomedical applications via TPP nanolithography, the use of photoinitiators (PIs) and photoresists needs to be considered comprehensively and systematically. In this review, widely used commercially available PIs are first discussed, followed by elucidating synthesis strategies of water-soluble initiators for biomedical applications. In addition to the conventional photoresists, the distinctive properties of customized stimulus-responsive photoresists are discussed. Finally, current limitations and challenges in the material and fabrication aspects and an outlook for future prospects of TPP for biomedical applications based on different biocompatible photosensitive composites are discussed comprehensively. In all, this review provides a basic understanding of TPP technology and important roles of PIs and photoresists for fabricating high-precision stimulus-responsive micro/nano-structures for a wide range of biomedical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1118-1136
Number of pages19
JournalNanotechnology Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • biomedical applications
  • micro/nano-fabrication
  • stimulus-responsive structure
  • two-photon polymerization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology

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