Scientists 3D Print Microscopic Star Trek USS Voyager and Other Objects That Move on Their Own in Liquid

Microscopic Printed Objects

Scientists at the Leiden Institute of Physics in The Netherlands studied natural catalytically propelled colloidal microswimmers (microcosms that move in liquid). They noticed that these tiny swimmers were mostly spherical in nature and wanted to find out if other shapes would also work the same way, particularly since microswimmers could help play a role in medication delivery.

The researchers 3D printed a microscopic replica of the USS Voyager from Star Trek: Voyager, along with a boat, a helix, and other specifically non-spherical items and then studied how their shapes affected the swimming patterns of the natural versions.

Samia Ouhajji, one of the study’s authors, told CNN about the role these “synthetic colloidal microswimmers” play and why they chose Star Trek.

This understanding could aid in developing new drug delivery vehicles; for example, microrobots that swim autonomously and deliver drugs at the desired location in the human body. …In the last week of his project, I promised him [co-author Jonas Hoecht] we could print any shape he liked,…As a major Star Trek fan, he chose the USS Voyager. Additionally, it was also to show that the type of shapes we can print is almost limitless.

Microscopic Printed USS Voyager

via CNN