From Particle Self-Assembly to the Creation of Biologically Relevant Nanopatterns

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Nanopatterns are becoming increasingly popular in the field of bioscience and bioengineering because they provide novel tools to address biological problems. For example, protein nanoarrays not only enable molecular level statistics of binding events but also offer an increased sensitivity compared to microarrays. To achieve such patterns we have self-assembled micron and sub-micron sized polystyrene (PS) particles by dip-drying in aqueous suspensions, aiming at large monolayer coverage on flat surface. The particle patterns were then tailored by etching to linearly reduce the size of the particles. It was possible to produce ordered PS features of different sizes and separations by varying the etching time and initial particle diameter. The tailored particle patterns were later either transferred into the substrate by etching – creating nanopillars – or replicated into a polymer – creating nanocontainers. Nanopillars could be produced also with a chemical contrast, leading to e.g. titania pillars in a silica background. With a selective molecular patterning method we further transferred the structures into protein and other self-assembled nanopatterns. The polymer replicas on the other hand were used to make arrays of femtoliter nanocontainers. Rendering them protein resistant creates a powerful tool to investigate single molecule events in well defined locations.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 4, Technical Proceedings of the 2007 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show, Volume 4
Published: May 20, 2007
Pages: 578 - 581
Industry sector: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing
Topics: Advanced Manufacturing, Nanoelectronics
ISBN: 1-4200-6376-6