We present the use of an accessible micromachining technique (acoustic micromachining) for manufacturing micron-feature surfaces with non-discretely varying depth. Acoustic micromachining allows for non-photolithographic production of metal templates with programmable spatial patterns and involves the use of standard acoustic, cutting and electroplating equipment for mass production of vinyl records. Simple 3D patterns were transferred from an acoustic signal into working nickel templates, from which elastic polymer molds were obtained, featuring deep surface grooves and non-discrete (smooth) variations in the z-dimension. Versatility and applicability of the method is demonstrated in obtaining microfluidics structures, manufacturing high-surface area wavy polymer fibers, assembly of cell networks on scaffolds with 3D topography, and microcontact printing of proteins and cells.
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