Protein micropatterns have applications in fundamental life sciences and clinical medicine. In this work, we present a new technique to create 2-D protein micropatterns by local activation of a thin film of thermoresponsive plasma-deposited poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (ppNIPAM) using a computer-controlled infrared laser beam. While the whole substrate is exposed to the protein solution, protein deposition happens only at laser-activated locations. A few seconds of laser exposure is all that is required to form a pattern with resolution in the single micrometre range. Successful ligand binding after protein deposition indicates that protein function remains intact after laser-induced adsorption onto ppNIPAM. This rapid, simple technique advances currently available strategies for proteinpatterning by its potential to pattern proteins in an enclosed environment or onto a 3-D scaffold.
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