3D Printed Micro-Optics for Biophotonics

  • Andrea Bertoncini

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


3D printing, also known as ”additive manufacturing”, indicates a set of fabrication techniques that build objects by adding material, typically layer by layer. The main advantages of 3D printing are unlimited shapes and geometry, fast prototyping, and cost-effective small scale production. Two-photon lithography (TPL) is a laserbased 3D printing technique with submicron resolution, that can be used to create miniaturized structures. One of the most compelling applications of TPL is the 3D printing of miniaturized optical elements with unprecedented complexity, small-scale and precision. This could be potentially beneficial in biophotonics, a multidisciplinary research field in which light-based techniques are used to study biological processes. My research has been aimed at demonstrating novel applications of 3D printing based on TPL to different biophotonic applications. In particular, here we show 3D printed micro-optical structures that enhance and/or enable novel functions in advanced biophotonics methods as two-photon microendoscopy, optical trapping and Stimulated Raman Scattering microscopy. Remarkably, the micro-optical structures presented in this thesis enable the implementation of advanced techniques in existing or simpler microscopy setups with little to no modification to the original setup. This possibility is essentially allowed by the unique miniaturization and in-situ 3D printing capabilities offered by TPL.
Date of AwardJul 2020
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Biological, Environmental Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorCarlo Liberale (Supervisor)


  • micro-optics
  • 3D printing
  • optics
  • Biophotonics
  • Two-photon lithography
  • microfabrication

Cite this