Grayscale surface patterning using electrophoretic motion through a heterogeneous hydrogel material

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1 Scopus citations


Chemical surface patterning can be an incredibly powerful tool in a variety of applications, as it enables precise spatial control over surface properties. But the equipment required to create functional surface patterns—especially “grayscale” patterns where independent control over species placement and density are needed—is often expensive and inaccessible. In this work, we leveraged equipment and methods readily available to many research labs, namely 3D printing and electroblotting, to generate controlled grayscale surface patterns. Three-dimensional-printed molds were used to cast polyacrylamide hydrogels with regions of variable polymer density; regions of low polymer density within the hydrogels served as reservoirs for proteins that were later driven onto a target surface using electrophoresis. This mechanism was used to deposit grayscale patterns of fluorescently labeled proteins, and the fluorescent intensity of these patterns was measured and compared to a theoretical analysis of the deposition mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1160-1169
Number of pages10
Issue number13-14
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • Electrophoresis
  • Gradient generation
  • Hydrogel
  • Surface patterning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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