Mass fabrication technique for polymeric replicas of arrays of insect corneas

Drew Patrick Pulsifer, Akhlesh Lakhtakia, Raúl Jośe Martín-Palma, Carlo G. Pantano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Motivated to develop a technique for producing many high-fidelity replicas for the sacrifice of a single biotemplate, we combined a modified version of the conformal-evaporated-filmby- rotation technique and electroforming to produce a master negative made of nickel from a composite biotemplate comprising several corneas of common blowflies. This master negative can function as either a mold for casting multiple replicas or a die for stamping multiple replicas. An approximately 250 nm thick nickel film was thermally deposited on an array of blowfly corneas to capture the surface features with high fidelity and then a roughly 60 μm thick structural layer of nickel was electroformed onto the thin layer to give it the structural integrity needed for casting or stamping. The master negative concurrently captured the spatial features of the biotemplate at length scales ranging from 200 nm to a few millimeters. Polymer replicas produced thereafter by casting did faithfully reproduce features of a few micrometers and larger in dimension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number036001
JournalBioinspiration and Biomimetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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