Description This 3D-printed copper salt structure can be used in many ways. Here, it floats in a jar of water. The water dissolves the copper salt, resulting in a blue color, and transforming the structure into a very porous sponge-like material. When the salt has been completely dissolved, a polymer skeleton remains. This skeleton resembles the original 3D-printed shape but is incredibly light, like air.Creating materials like these is important because the polymer skeletons sponge can be used to implant all kinds of potent gel and liquid biomaterials during surgery. These fragile gels are currently being used to regenerate parts of tissues and organs.
These images stem from cutting-edge research on campus, winning our annual Scientific Images Contest which goes on display in galleries across Chicago.
Through partnerships with schools and community groups, we train Northwestern researchers to share their expertise and creativity in a community centered way. Sales from these images goes to support our education and outreach activities, connecting researchers to the wider community.