A spiderweb-inspired fractal design is used for hemispherical 3D photo-detection to replicate the vision system of arthropods. (Credit: Sena Huh image).

Researchers used some architectural features from spiderwebs to develop 3D photodetectors for biomedical imaging. Spiderwebs typically provide excellent mechanical adaptability and damage-tolerance against various mechanical loads such as storms. The technology uses the structural architecture of a spiderweb that exhibits a repeating pattern.

This provides unique capabilities to distribute externally induced stress throughout the threads according to the effective ratio of spiral and radial dimensions and provides greater extensibility to better dissipate force under stretching. It also can tolerate minor cuts of the threads while maintaining overall strength and function of the entire web architecture.

The resulting 3D optoelectronic architectures are particularly attractive for photodetection systems that require a large field of view and wide-angle antireflection, which will be useful for many biomedical imaging purposes. The assembly technique enables deploying 2D deformable electronics in 3D architectures, which may foreshadow new opportunities to better advance the field of 3D electronic and optoelectronic devices.

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Medical Design Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the February, 2021 issue of Medical Design Briefs Magazine.

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