Research Training Group 2154 - Materials for Brain

RTG Colloquium talk by Dr. Pavel Levkin: Designing biofunctional interfaces: from superhydrophobicity to cell microarrays

Institute of Toxicology and Genetics, Institute of Organic Chemistry, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

Dec 18, 2017 from 05:15 PM to 06:15 PM

TF, Aquarium

Patterns of different surface properties are ubiquitous in nature and serve various important purposes. Desert beetles exploit superhydrophilic spots on their superhydrophobic back to collect water from the morning mist in the desert. Hydrophilic spots on a superhydrophobic surface of lichen plants allow them to uptake water, but also prevent the formation of water layers on the surface that could interfere with the discharge of lichen spores into the air. Superhydrophobic and omniphobic surfaces possess various unique properties including selfcleaning, liquid repellent and cell repellent properties. We are interested in creating precise two-dimensional micropatterns of apparently incompatible and opposite properties such as superhydrophobicity and superhydrophilicity or slippery and adhesive properties. To create such patterns we develop surface coatings with special wettabilities and photochemical surface functionalization strategies. Combining seemingly opposite properties in micropatterns leads to functionalities non-existent on the original homogeneous interfaces. For example, we showed that superhydrophobic-superhydrophilic patterned surfaces could be used to create patterns of cells, arrays of microdroplets suitable for high-throughput cell screenings, formation of arrays of hydrogel micropads or free-standing hydrogel particles
with defined shapes for 3D cell culture. Patterned liquid-infused interfaces could be also used to form cell microarrays or arrays of isolated biofilm colonies for biofilm screenings.

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