Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A spot of light cleaning

21.07.2015

A light-triggered cleanable, recyclable chip makes fabrication feasible for all

Throw away the detergent and forgo the elbow grease: pesky proteins can now be removed from surfaces by simply exposing them to light, thanks to a reusable titania template developed by A*STAR researchers1.


Self-cleaning, reusable protein patterning templates have been fabricated using both nanoimprint and interferometric lithography.

Adapted with permission from Ref. 1. Copyright 2015 American Chemical Society

Biologists have many reasons to pattern surfaces with proteins, from creating highly selective biosensors to studying fundamental processes such as tissue formation. What they don’t want, however, is for the proteins to stay on the surface indefinitely. Unfortunately, ridding a surface of proteins is a complicated and time-consuming task, which means that the majority of biologists typically throw away their substrates after a single use — leading to a high cost for consumables. Moreover, due to the complexity of fabrication systems, biologists usually outsource their chip manufacturing to engineers, which introduces delays and further exacerbates cost.

Karen Chong and her team at the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering in Singapore recognized that these delays and costs could be avoided by designing a fabrication technique that non-engineers could use. “We wanted to demonstrate that fabrication and patterning techniques could move away from the traditional domains of microelectronics,” she recalls. “Specifically, we wanted to create fabrication techniques that could easily be adopted and replicated by biologists.”

Chong notes that to be practical, fabrication techniques must be either easy to use or have the potential to be scaled up to produce commercial quantities. Consequently, she and the team focused on two techniques: interferometric lithography for the former and nanoimprint lithography for the latter.

“Interferometric lithography techniques can be easily replicated by biologists without the need for a very complex or costly set-up in their laboratories,” she explains. “While nanoimprinting is not practical for smaller labs, it does allow us to scale up these samples into larger-area substrates.”

Both approaches yielded surfaces with titania nanostructures (see image) that were then covered with protein-resistant silanes. Exposure to ultraviolet light degrades the silanes, which allows proteins to adhere to the selected regions. After the protein-patterned substrates have served their purpose, Chong describes how “the proteins on the chips can be quickly removed, by just exposing the used substrates to ultraviolet light, without the need for elaborate cleaning methods.” The substrates can then be immediately reused without the need for further preparation.

“With the recyclable chip and the technique that we have demonstrated, fabrication techniques are no longer the exclusive domain of engineers,” remarks Chong.

The A*STAR-affiliated researchers contributing to this research are from the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering.


Reference
Moxey, M., Johnson, A., El-Zubir, O., Cartron, M., Dinachali, S. S. et al. Fabrication of self-cleaning, reusable titania templates for nanometer and micrometer scale protein patterning. ACS Nano 9, 6262–6270 (2015). | article

A*STAR Research | ResearchSEA
Further information:
http://www.research.a-star.edu.sg/research/7332
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Water world
20.11.2017 | Washington University in St. Louis

nachricht Carefully crafted light pulses control neuron activity
20.11.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Antarctic landscape insights keep ice loss forecasts on the radar

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Filling the gap: High-latitude volcanic eruptions also have global impact

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Water world

20.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>