Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Laser transfer of biopolymer patterns

A Greek research institute has designed a means and a mechanism for the precise fabrication of micro-dimensioned biopolymer patterns through laser transfer.
Laser transfer of biopolymer patterns
This laser transfer based method or Laser Induced Forward Transfer (LIFT) is primarily known for the precise depositing of metals, oxides, superconductors and ceramics, on solid surfaces for the (opto)elelectronics industry. The method uses rapid laser pulses for moving target biopolymer material from one surface of a transparent support onto the opposite positioned surface of a receiving solid substrate.

The receiving substrate is usually positioned close to the thin film source under air or vacuum conditions forming a coating. A geometrically shaped laser pulse is then projected through the support, onto the coating and at a defined location. This exposes a portion of the coating material to laser energy, which allows sufficient removal, transfer and deposit of the said portion upon the receiving surface of the substrate.

Usually transfer is achieved with single laser pulses but sometimes continuous wave lasers are also used. The target material is dimensioned according to the focal spot of the laser and can include a variety of biopolymers such as enzymes, antibodies, antigens, to name only a few. This precise deposition may be further employed for the development of various analytical and diagnostic applications including biosensors, protein and nucleic acid microarray chips and microfluidic assays.

The mechanism consists of a complete laser source system (with attenuator, beam modulator, aperture, mirror, objective lens etc.) Furthermore it has a laser transparent target holder, a substrate platform and different translation stages to move the target holder with the substrate platform.

One of the main benefits of this technology is that the laser pulses are so rapid and precise as to minimise any adverse thermal effects of the process. They also lower the necessary energy of the transfer base, which avoids damage to the biopolymer material. Because this method can be used for depositing a large variety of biopolymers onto various receiving substrates, it is highly versatile and easily adaptable.
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