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Printing functional protein nano-dots on soft elastomers: from transfer mechanism to cell mechanosensing

Abstract : Living cells sense the physical and chemical nature of their micro/nano environment with exquisite sensitivity. In this context, there is a growing need to functionalize soft materials with micro/nano-scale biochemical patterns for applications in mechanobiology. This however is still an engineering challenge. Here a new method is proposed, where sub-micronic protein-patterns are rst formed on glass and are then printed on to an elastomer. The degree of transfer is shown to be governed mainly by hydrophobic interactions and to be inuenced by grafting an appropriate uorophore onto the core protein of interest. The transfer mechanism is probed by measuring the forces of adhesion/cohesion using atomic force microscopy. The transfer of functional arrays of dots with size down to about 400 nm, on elastomers with stiness ranging from 3 kPa to 7 MPa, is demonstrated. Pilot studies on adhesion of T lymphocytes on such soft patterned substrates are reported.
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Ranime Alameddine, Astrid Wahl, Fuwei Pi, Kaoutar Bouzalmate, Laurent Limozin, et al.. Printing functional protein nano-dots on soft elastomers: from transfer mechanism to cell mechanosensing. Nano Letters, American Chemical Society, 2017, 17 (7), pp.4284 - 4290. ⟨10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b01254⟩. ⟨hal-01774028⟩

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