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Biofabrication. 2013 Jun;5(2):025006. doi: 10.1088/1758-5082/5/2/025006. Epub 2013 Mar 7.

Infra-red laser ablative micromachining of parylene-C on SiO2 substrates for rapid prototyping, high yield, human neuronal cell patterning.

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  • 1Department of Engineering Science, The University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand.


Cell patterning commonly employs photolithographic methods for the micro fabrication of structures on silicon chips. These require expensive photo-mask development and complex photolithographic processing. Laser based patterning of cells has been studied in vitro and laser ablation of polymers is an active area of research promising high aspect ratios. This paper disseminates how 800 nm femtosecond infrared (IR) laser radiation can be successfully used to perform laser ablative micromachining of parylene-C on SiO2 substrates for the patterning of human hNT astrocytes (derived from the human teratocarcinoma cell line (hNT)) whilst 248 nm nanosecond ultra-violet laser radiation produces photo-oxidization of the parylene-C and destroys cell patterning. In this work, we report the laser ablation methods used and the ablation characteristics of parylene-C for IR pulse fluences. Results follow that support the validity of using IR laser ablative micromachining for patterning human hNT astrocytes cells. We disseminate the variation in yield of patterned hNT astrocytes on parylene-C with laser pulse spacing, pulse number, pulse fluence and parylene-C strip width. The findings demonstrate how laser ablative micromachining of parylene-C on SiO2 substrates can offer an accessible alternative for rapid prototyping, high yield cell patterning with broad application to multi-electrode arrays, cellular micro-arrays and microfluidics.

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