Guest Lecture Dr. Delamarche (IBM Research Laboratory of Zurich)

Dr. Emmanuel Delamarche from IBM Research Laboratory of Zurich gives a guest lecture on April 12 at 11 c.t. (building 101; room 02-016/18, 2nd floor)



Soft Lithography for Surface Patterning and Bioanalytical Applications: a soft solution for hard problems

Our research on “soft lithography” at the IBM Research laboratory of Zurich entails a set of techniques derived from microcontact printing. The original concept of microcontact printing is that a patterned elastomer – the stamp – can be inked and placed in contact with a surface to deliver locally a self-assembling monolayer of resist to a surface. In our quest to apply microcontact printing to technologies that are typical for IBM, we derived methods based on microcontact printing and microfluidics that can be used to miniaturize biological assays. Miniaturizing bioassays brings the attendant benefits of economizing reagents, detecting analytes in parallel with high-quality signals and in minimal time. We use for example microcontact printing to pattern proteins down to the level of a single protein molecule on surfaces, to form very large arrays of surface-immobilized single vesicles, or to retrieve cell adhesion molecules from complex fluids and guide the attachment and growth of neurons on surfaces. Alternatively, the elastomer can be used as the substrate to localize surface immunoassays using microfluidic chips. The geometry and wetting properties of the microfluidic chips suffice to move liquids through the device using capillary forces only. Hence, these chips are free of external pumping elements and are thus ideal for conducting sandwich immunoassays in a combinatorial fashion on a planar surface with high-resolution and contrast using submicroliter quantities of samples and reagents, and on a time scale of a few minutes. These methods stand as proof-of-concepts, and it will be very exciting to try to implement them for “advanced bioassays”.


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