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Langmuir. 2005 Jul 19;21(15):6652-5.

Nanoscale protein patterning using self-assembled diblock copolymers.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, 160 Fenske Laboratory, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, USA.


Novel methods for immobilizing proteins on surfaces have the potential to impact basic biological research as well as various biochip applications. Here, we demonstrate a unique method to pattern proteins with a nanometer periodicity on silicon oxide substrates using microphase-separated diblock copolymer thin films. We developed a straightforward and effective protein immobilization technique using the microphase-separated domains of polystyrene-block-poly(methyl methacrylate) to localize various model protein molecules such as bovine immunoglobulin G, fluorescein isothiocyanate conjugated anti-bovine immunoglobulin G, and protein G. The self-organizing nature of the diblock copolymer was exploited to produce periodically alternating, nanometer-spaced polymeric domains exposing the two chemical compositions of the diblock to surface. We demonstrate that the model proteins selectively self-organize themselves on the microdomain regions of specific polymer components due to their preferential interactions with one of the two polymer segments. This diblock copolymer-based, self-assembly approach represents a step forward for facile, nanometer-spaced protein immobilization with high areal density and could provide a pathway to high-throughput proteomic arrays and biosensors.

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