Patterning proteins and cells using two-dimensional arrays of colloids

Nathaniel J. Gleason, Christopher J. Nodes, Eileen M. Higham, Nedra Guckert, Ilhan A. Aksay, Jean E. Schwarzbauer, Jeffrey D. Carbeck

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

35 Scopus citations


A simple method is described for controlling the organization of proteins on surfaces using two-dimensional arrays of micron-sized colloidal particles. Suspensions of colloids functionalized with proteins are deposited onto coverslips coated with gold using a combination of gravitational settling and applied electrical fields. Varying settling time and particle concentration controls the density of particles on the substrate. Surface coverage ranged from an essentially continuous coating of protein on close-packed arrays to domains of protein separated by distances as large as 16 μm. Colloidal particle arrays were also patterned into 500 μm islands on substrates using elastomeric lift-off membranes. The applicability of this approach to the promotion of fibroblast cell adhesion and spreading was demonstrated using particles coated with the cell adhesion protein fibronectin. Behavior of adherent cells varied with particle density. This method provides a general strategy for controlling the organization of functional proteins at surfaces on three length scales: the size of individual colloidal particles, the spacing between particles, and the organization of particles in patterned arrays.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)513-518
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 4 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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