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Functionalisation method for bio-specific cantilevers

The fictionalisation method can be used to perform localised fictionalisation of single cantilevers lined up in an array on a microchip. Applications like multi-analyte detection and schemes with dedicated reference cantilevers require that specific biomolecular recognition elements can be immobilised on a cantilever without affecting the neighbouring ones. Apart from providing local confinement of the probe solution used for immobilisation, the tool has to allow fast and simple alignment with the cantilever chip and has to be compatible with the chemistry used to carry out the binding procedure.

To comply with these requirements, a fictionalisation tool based on surface-tension confinement has been designed. Deposition is carried out by wetting the cantilever with a small drop of probe solution formed at the tip of a polyether ether ketone (PEEK) capillary.

The drop is created by applying a minute pressure to the solution in the capillary by controlled warming of the supply vial. The hydrophobicity of the PEEK material assures a high contact angle, and therefore good confinement, of the drop. The capillary array is aligned with the on-chip cantilevers by alignment guides machined into the capillary holder.

Reported by

ETH Zürich
HPT H6, ETH Hönggerberg
8093 Zürich