CHAPEL HILL — A group of nine researchers from UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke University and the University of California received a patent grant for methods for fabricating isolated structures using lithography, according to a filing Tuesday from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The patent describes a method for producing free-standing, isolated nano-structures of any shape using soft or imprint lithography technique.

The group originally filed for the patent in March 2015, at which time several of the researchers were associated with UNC-Chapel Hill, including lead inventor of the patent, distinguished scientist Joseph DeSimone.

DeSimone is a professor of chemistry at the UNC-CH and the chief executive officer and cofounder of Carbon, a three-dimensional printing and technology company which aims to combine the intricacies of molecular science with hardware and software technologies to advance the 3D printing industry beyond basic prototyping, to 3D manufacturing.

DeSimone, who has already received more than 150 patents, is one of few to have been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, according to his group’s website.

Most recently, Carbon completed a Series D funding deal with Adidas valued at over $200 million to bring 3D manufacturing technology to athletic footwear in the form of FutureCraft 4D.

“Since Carbon first introduced digital light synthesis, we have continuously pushed the boundaries and transformed industries, and are uniquely positioned to take digital manufacturing to an entirely new level,” said DeSimone in a statement.

More information about the Carbon and Adidas work can be found online.

This story is from the North Carolina Business News Wire, a service of UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Media and Journalism