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Protein micropatterning on a bio-MEMS using microcontact printing technology
( Former project )

C. Scherz, E. Lan├žon, D. Joss, H. Majd, M.A.M. Gijs, C. Yamahata

Keywords: microcontact printing (µCP); soft lithography; fibronectin; PDMS; bio-MEMS

Fluorescence optical micrograph of fibronectin proteins micropatterned on a plastic Petri dish.

Microcontact printing (┬ÁCP) is a soft lithography technique used for functionalizing a surface by micropatterning. This technique is particularly attractive for biological applications as it offers the ability to pattern substrates with complex molecules relevant to biology. For example, one can pattern a substrate with "cell-friendly" proteins to promote the adhesion of cells.

Poly(dimethyl siloxane) (PDMS) is the most commonly used polymer for fabrication of the elastomeric stamp (commercial product: Sylgard 184 from Dow Corning). Typically, PDMS is casted from a reusable silicon master
obtained by deep reactive ion etching. The elastomeric stamp is "inked" with a thin layer of proteins that is transferred to the bio-MEMS device by μCP. Conformal printing is the key for successful μCP.

In our laboratory, we have developed a mechanical system for alignment of the elastomeric stamp with the bio-MEMS device. With a resolution of a few micrometers, this system is appropriate for the micropatterning of protein layers having feature sizes of several tens of micrometers. The setup enables the application of a well-controlled even pressure during the ┬ÁCP process.

Last modified: April 1st, 2011