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Langmuir. 2001 Sep 4;17(18):5440-7.

Fabrication of poly(ethylene glycol) hydrogel microstructures using photolithography.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843-3122, USA.
PA St U, University Park


The fabrication of hydrogel microstructures based upon poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylates, dimethacrylates, and tetraacrylates patterned photolithographically on silicon or glass substrates is described. A silicon/silicon dioxide surface was treated with 3-(trichlorosilyl)propyl methacrylate to form a self-assembled monolayer (SAM) with pendant acrylate groups. The SAM presence on the surface was verified using ellipsometry and time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry. A solution containing an acrylated or methacrylated poly(ethylene glycol) derivative and a photoinitiator (2,2-dimethoxy-2-phenylacetophenone) was spin-coated onto the treated substrate, exposed to 365 nm ultraviolet light through a photomask, and developed with either toluene, water, or supercritical CO2. As a result of this process, three-dimensional, cross-linked PEG hydrogel microstructures were immobilized on the surface. Diameters of cylindrical array members were varied from 600 to 7 micrometers by the use of different photomasks, while height varied from 3 to 12 micrometers, depending on the molecular weight of the PEG macromer. In the case of 7 micrometers diameter elements, as many as 400 elements were reproducibly generated in a 1 mm2 square pattern. The resultant hydrogel patterns were hydrated for as long as 3 weeks without delamination from the substrate. In addition, micropatterning of different molecular weights of PEG was demonstrated. Arrays of hydrogel disks containing an immobilized protein conjugated to a pH sensitive fluorophore were also prepared. The pH sensitivity of the gel-immobilized dye was similar to that in an aqueous buffer, and no leaching of the dye-labeled protein from the hydrogel microstructure was observed over a 1 week period. Changes in fluorescence were also observed for immobilized fluorophore labeled acetylcholine esterase upon the addition of acetyl acholine.

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