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Proceedings Paper

Drosophila as an unconventional substrate for microfabrication
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Paper Abstract

We present the application of Drosophila fruit flies as an unconventional substrate for microfabrication. Drosophila by itself represents a complex system capable of many functions not attainable with current microfabrication technology. By using Drosophila as a substrate, we are able to capitalize on these natural functions while incorporating additional functionality into a superior hybrid system. In the following, development of microfabrication processes for Drosophila substrates is discussed. In particular, results of a study on Drosophila tolerance to vacuum pressure during multiple stages of development are given. A remarkable finding that adult Drosophila may withstand up to 3 hours of exposure to vacuum with measurable survival is noted. This finding opens a number of new opportunities for performing fabrication processes, similar to the ones performed on a silicon wafer, on a fruit fly as a live substrate. As a model microfabrication process, it is shown how a collection of Drosophila can be made to self-assemble into an array of microfabricated recesses on a silicon wafer and how a shadow mask can be used to thermally evaporate 100 nm of indium on flies. The procedure resulted in the production of a number of live flies with a pre-designed metal micropattern on their wings. This demonstration of vacuum microfabrication on a live organism provides the first step towards the development of a hybrid biological/solid-state manufacturing process for complex microsystems.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 February 2007
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 6464, MEMS/MOEMS Components and Their Applications IV, 646403 (8 February 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.699414
Show Author Affiliations
Angela J. Shum, Univ. of Washington (United States)
Babak A. Parviz, Univ. of Washington (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6464:
MEMS/MOEMS Components and Their Applications IV
Srinivas A. Tadigadapa; Reza Ghodssi; Albert K. Henning, Editor(s)

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