Date of Award

Summer 7-16-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Biomedical and Chemical Engineering


Soman, Pranav

Second Advisor

Qin, Zhao

Subject Categories

Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering | Engineering


Hydrogel has been a promising candidate to recapitulate the chemical, physical and mechanical properties of natural extracellular matrix (ECM), and they have been widely used for tissue engineering, lab on a chip and biophotonics applications. A range of optical fabrication technologies such as photolithography, digital projection stereolithography and laser direct writing have been used to shape hydrogels into structurally complex functional devices and constructs. However, it is still greatly challenging for researchers to design and fabricate multiscale hydrogel structures using a single fabrication technology.

To address this challenge, the goal of this work is the design and develop novel multimode optical 3D printing technology capable of printing hydrogels with multiscale features ranging from centimeter to micrometer sizes and in the process transforming simple hydrogels into functional devices for many biomedical applications. Chapter 2 presents a new multimode optical printing technology that synergistically combined large-scale additive manufacturing with small-scale additive/subtractive manufacturing. This multiscale fabrication capability was used to (i) align cells using laser induced densification in Chapter 3, (ii) develop diffractive optics based on changes in refractive indices in Chapter 4, (iii) print diffractive optical elements in Chapter 5, and (iv) digitally print complex microfluidic devices and other 3D constructs in Chapter 6. Overall, this work open doors to a new world of fabrication where multiscale functional hydrogel structures are possible for a range biomedical application.


Open Access