Micrometre and Nanometre Scale Patterning of Binary Polymer Brushes, Supported Lipid Bilayers and Proteins
Binary polymer brush patterns were fabricated via photodeprotection of an aminosilane with a photo-cleavable nitrophenyl protecting group. UV exposure of the silane film through a mask yields micrometre-scale amine-terminated regions that can be derivatised to incorporate a bromine initiator to facilitate polymer brush growth via atom transfer radical polymerisation (ATRP). Atomic force microscopy (AFM) and imaging secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) confirm that relatively thick brushes can be grown with high spatial confinement. Nanometre-scale patterns were formed by using a Lloyd’s mirror interferometer to expose the nitrophenyl-protected aminosilane film. In exposed regions, protein-resistant poly(oligo(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate) (POEGMEMA) brushes were grown by ATRP and used to define channels as narrow as 141 nm into which proteins could be adsorbed. The contrast in the pattern can be inverted by (i) a simple blocking reaction after UV exposure, (ii) a second deprotection step to expose previously intact protecting groups, and (iii) subsequent brush growth via surface ATRP. Alternatively, two-component brush patterns can be formed. Exposure of a nitrophenyl-protected aminosilane layer either through a mask or to an interferogram, enables growth of an initial POEGMEMA brush. Subsequent UV exposure of the previously intact regions allows attachment of ATRP initiator sites and growth of a second poly(cysteine methacrylate) (PCysMA) brush within photolithographically-defined micrometre or nanometre scale regions. POEGMEMA brushes resist deposition of liposomes, but fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) studies confirm that liposomes readily rupture on PCysMA “corrals” defined within POEGMEMA “walls”. This leads to the formation of highly mobile supported lipid bilayers that exhibit similar diffusion coefficients to lipid bilayers formed on surfaces such as glass.