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Segerer, Felix Jakob; Röttgermann, Peter Johan Friedrich; Schuster, Simon; Alberola, Alicia Piera; Zahler, Stefan; Rädler, Joachim Oskar (2016): Versatile method to generate multiple types of micropatterns. In: Biointerphases, Vol. 11, No. 1, 11005
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Micropatterning techniques have become an important tool for the study of cell behavior in controlled microenvironments. As a consequence, several approaches for the creation of micropatterns have been developed in recent years. However, the diversity of substrates, coatings, and complex patterns used in cell science is so great that no single existing technique is capable of fabricating designs suitable for all experimental conditions. Hence, there is a need for patterning protocols that are flexible with regard to the materials used and compatible with different patterning strategies to create more elaborate setups. In this work, the authors present a versatile approach to micropatterning. The protocol is based on plasma treatment, protein coating, and a poly(L-lysine)-grafted-poly(ethylene glycol) backfill step, and produces homogeneous patterns on a variety of substrates. Protein density within the patterns can be controlled, and density gradients of surface-bound protein can be formed. Moreover, by combining the method with microcontact printing, it is possible to generate patterns composed of three different components within one iteration of the protocol. The technique is simple to implement and should enable cell science labs to create a broad range of complex and highly specialized microenvironments. (C) 2016 American Vacuum Society.