Search

CET and skills guides

Study and gain CET points through OT’s online CET exams, and access archived CET, CPD articles and skills guides in our education library

Find out more

Science and vision

News and features about the latest scientific developments and advances in optometry, ophthalmology and eye medicine

Find out more

Industry

News and features about the latest developments in optics with a focus on industry

Find out more

Professional support

News and features about the latest developments relating to professional support from across optics. This includes updates from optical organisations such as the AOP and the GOC

Find out more

Jobs

Explore the latest UK and global jobs in the optical sector for optometrists, dispensing opticians and more

Find out more

Breakthrough printing technique uses sound waves to control droplet size

Research by Harvard University scientists could expand the range of optical and biopharmaceutical materials that can be created

Droplet

Harvard University researchers have developed a new way of controlling the size of droplets using sound waves.

The research, which was published in Science Advances, means that a wider range of liquids with varying viscosity and composition can be used in droplet-based printing.

It could lead to the manufacture of new biopharmaceuticals, cosmetics and food, while also expanding the range of optical and conductive materials that can be created.

The technique, named acoustophoretic printing, involves using sound waves to aid gravity.

Sound waves pull each droplet from the printer nozzle when they reach a certain size and the liquid drops towards the printing target.

A high amplitude of sound waves results in a small droplet size, no matter how viscous the fluid is.

Before this advancement, liquids could only be used that were around 10 times more viscous than water.

Image credit: Harvard University