Combinatorial Libraries and High-Throughput Analysis:
New, more complex materials are increasingly in demand for applications in biotechnology, microelectronics and nanotechnology. The use of combinatorial methods — which comprise a special set of tools and techniques — enables scientists to conduct many experiments on many materials at the same time.
Breaking away from the traditional one-at-a-time testing of materials, combinatorial libraries and high-throughput analysis allow researchers to rapidly explore a wide range of characteristics of materials — in parallel and on a miniaturized scale — such as the effects of temperature, thickness and composition. Researchers can easily compare these characteristics, screening for what works and what doesn’t, and generating data to help construct predictive models.
Additive Manufacturing (AM), or well-known 3D-printing (which is part of AM), arose from the concept of fabricating a 3D object by selectively adding material layer by layer in the early 1980s. With the development of computer-aided-design technologies, printing technologies, programmable logic controllers, and materials etc., AM technology has been widely used and evolved throughout the whole world.
Our task is to use AM technologies to develop gradient combinatorial libraries, either continuous or discrete, like three-dimentional structures, with gradient compositions, under different conditions, combined with high-throughput analysis methods, such as micro-CT, Digital Image Correlation etc., to obtain a map of the whole system and use these tools in a miniaturized and automated discovery work flow.