Biomedical Microdevices

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 403-410

First online:

Nano-aquarium for dynamic observation of living cells fabricated by femtosecond laser direct writing of photostructurable glass

  • Yasutaka HanadaAffiliated withRIKEN-The Institute of Physical and Chemical Research Email author 
  • , Koji SugiokaAffiliated withRIKEN-The Institute of Physical and Chemical Research
  • , Hiroyuki KawanoAffiliated withRIKEN-Brain Science Institute
  • , Ikuko Shihira IshikawaAffiliated withRIKEN-Brain Science Institute
  • , Atsushi MiyawakiAffiliated withRIKEN-Brain Science Institute
  • , Katsumi MidorikawaAffiliated withRIKEN-The Institute of Physical and Chemical Research

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We demonstrate the fabrication of three-dimensional (3-D) hollow microstructures embedded in photostructurable glass by a nonlinear multiphoton absorption process using a femtosecond (fs) laser. Fs laser direct writing followed by annealing and successive wet etching in dilute hydrofluoric (HF) acid solution resulted in the rapid manufacturing of microchips with 3-D hollow microstructures for the dynamic observation of living microorganisms and cells in fresh water. The embedded microchannel structure enables us to analyze the continuous motion of Euglena gracilis. A microchamber with a movable microneedle demonstrates its ability for the elucidation of the information transmission process in Pleurosira laevis. Such microchips, referred to as nano-aquariums realize the efficient and highly functional observation of microorganisms and cells.


Nano-aquarium Microchip Microorganism Living cell Femtosecond laser Photostructurable glass