Biological Applications of Lipid-Based Dip-Pen Nanolithography
Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe GmbH, Institut für NanoTechnologie, Germany, DE
Keywords: Dip Pen Nanolithography, DPN
Abstract:The ability to fabricate and integrate devices with functional components and structures approaching molecular scales is resulting in qualitatively new technologies, and a new scientific discipline of nanoscience. An extraordinary example of this interdisciplinary development is the growing enthusiasm in the role that supramolecular self-assembly and surface structures play in biological systems. While assays that use nanolithographically patterned surfaces as substrates for cell culture have already provided insights into the mechanisms of cell adhesion,1, 2 there are still two technical challenges to overcome to make use of the full potential of this strategy. First, a large enough surface area for cell culture screens must be patterned at a reasonable cost. Second, multiple biofunctional molecules must be integrated under a single cell.Dip-pen nanolithography (DPN), is well suited for this purpose due to its bottom up and materials integration capabilities.3 When phospholipids are used as the ink for DPN, it becomes possible fabricate biofunctional chemical patterns with both high resolution and high throughput by means of parallel pen-arrays.4 Of particular importance is the ability for DPN to simultaneously deposit multiple functional lipid molecules simultaneously from different tips in an array (i.e. multiplexing).5, 6 For that purpose, microfluidic or microarray technology is used to deliver the different inks to the different tips for large scale molecular integration. Incorporation of biofunctional lipids into the ink allows the sub-cellular patterning multiple proteins under the area of a single cell.