J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2005 127 10707-10711.

Microfabrication of Three-Dimensional Bioelectronic Architectures

R. T. Hill, J. Lyon, R. Allen, K. Stevenson, and J. Shear

The functionality and structural diversity of biological macromolecules has motivated efforts to exploit proteins and DNA as templates for synthesis of electronic architectures. Although such materials offer promise for numerous applications in the fabrication of cellular interfaces, biosensors, and nanoelectronics, identification of techniques for positioning and ordering bioelectronic components into useful patterns capable of sophisticated function has presented a major challenge. Here, we describe the fabrication of electronic materials using biomolecular scaffolds that can be constructed with precisely defined topographies. In this approach, a tightly focused pulsed laser beam capable of promoting protein photo-cross-linking in specified femtoliter volume elements is scanned within a protein solution, creating biomolecular matrices that either remain in integral contact with a support surface or extend as free-standing structures through solution, tethered at their ends. Once fabricated, specific protein scaffolds can be selectively metallized via targeted deposition and growth of metal nanoparticles, yielding high-conductivity bioelectronic materials. This aqueous fabrication strategy opens new opportunities for creating electronic materials in chemically sensitive environments and may offer a general approach for creating microscopically defined inorganic landscapes.

J. Am. Chem. Soc.