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Micro-Patterning of PEG-Based Hydrogels With Gold Nanoparticles Using a Reactive Micro-Contact-Printing Approach

Yesildag, Cigdem; Ouyang, Zhaofei; Zhang, Zhenfang; Lensen, Marga C.

In this work a novel, relatively simple, and fast method for patterning of gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) on poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-based hydrogels is presented. In the hereby exploited reactive micro-contact printing (reactive-μ-CP) process, the surface of a micro-relief patterned PDMS-stamp is first functionalized with an amino-silane self-assembled monolayer (SAM), which is then inked with Au NPs. The stamp is subsequently brought into conformal contact with thiol-functionalized PEG-based hydrogel films. Due to the strong gold-thiol interactions the Au NPs are adequately and easily transferred onto the surfaces of these soft, multifunctional PEG hydrogels. In this way, defined μ-patterns of Au NPs on PEG hydrogels are achieved. These Au NPs patterns allow specific biomolecular interactions on PEG surfaces, and cell adhesion has been studied. Cells were found to effectively adhere only on Au NPs micro-patterns and to avoid the anti-adhesive PEG background. Besides the cell adhesion studies, these Au NPs μ-patterns can be potentially applied as biosensors in plasmon-based spectroscopic devices or in medicine, e.g., for drug delivery systems or photothermal therapies.
Published in: Frontiers in Chemistry, 10.3389/fchem.2018.00667, Frontiers Media