Category Archives: Procedure

µContactPrinter

Microcontact Printing

Create Special Surfaces for Your Cells

This process transfers a sample liquid called “ink” onto a planar target surface. The PDMS stamp is inked with the sample, subsequently pressed onto the surface, thereby transferring the sample only from the high areas, as in letterpress printing.

Stamp Inking

Ink Dispensing

Stamp Inking

Stamp Inking

Drying

Drying

Stamping

Stamping

Patterned Surface

Patterned Surface

Not only chemicals, but also biomolecules, nanoparticles, beads, or cells can be printed. Patterns of proteins like fibronectin or laminin can serve as adhesive substrate to grow cells only on protein-covered areas.

µCP4.1 automatically uses up to five stamps with different inks and different patterns for well aligned prints on the same substrate.

 

NIL – Nanoimprint Lithography

Printing of Microfluidic Structures

Nanoimprint Lithography (NIL) is a popular approach to make disposable microfluidic devices at low numbers. µCP4.1 does the whole process in an unattended run. The instrument has to be supplied with a curable fotopolymer as well as with the printing substrate.

Instead of transferring an ink, the elevated patterns of the PDMS stamp shape their reverse image into a homogeneous layer on the stamp target. In a preceding step, the target surface has to be coated with an appropriated material, e.g. a liquid, UV-hardened, polymer. µCP 4.1 automatically produces homogenuous polymer layers by dispensing and spinning.

Resist dispensing/ Spinning

Resist dispensing/ Spinning

Drying

Drying

Stamping

Stamping

Graves/ Cavities are done

Graves/ Cavities are done

Curing/ Hardening

Curing/ Hardening

3D structures can be printed with SU8 photoresist or NOA (Norland). Heights of up to 150 microns are feasible. The aspect ratio height : width depends on the layout but can easily reach (3…5) : 1.

After detaching of the stamp the printed substrates can be sealed by cover lids in order to achieve microfluidic devices.