Micromasonry is a fabrication technique to self-assemble micrometric and sub-micrometric three-dimensional units into larger structures. The technique is based on the self-assembly construction and hierarchical design of biological materials.
It was developed by Spanish materials scientist Javier G. Fernandez of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to produce artificial organs by self-assembling groups of biological cells in biocompatible polymers. This method allows the self-assembly of encapsulated cells in 3D geometries, enabling the fabrication of biological tissue following an approach similar to building a brick structure. Because this bottom-up method of fabrication, the resulting constructions are some times referred as "bio-Legos".
Micromasonry is considered an important breakthrough in fabrication for modern tissue engineering, for its simplicity, efficiency, and for being the major example in the merge of microelectronic engineering techniques and biological functionality.
Micromasonry is often referred as "bio-legos" or "biological legos" because its extensive use for the construction of biological tissue.
- Trafton, Anne (2010). Building organs block by block. MIT News
- Schott, Ben (2010) Micromasonry & Biological Lego. The New York Times
- Armstrong Moore, Elizabeth (2010). Breakthrough in tissue engineering: 'Bio-Legos'. CNET
- Wolfson, Wendy (2010). Human Lego may one day build artificial organs. New Scientist
- Keum, Hohyun (2012). Silicon micro-masonry using elastomeric stamps for three-dimensional microfabrication. J.Micromech.Microeng