Development of new patterning methodologies

As far as the patterning is concerned, we aim to make a large variety of patterned surfaces, bearing either chemical or topographic patterns or combinations of the two and we are developing methods to make patterns of elasticity. Also gradient patterns are of interest in order to study chemo- or durotaxis of cells, for example.

The patterning methodologies we are employing take advantage of established techniques such as soft lithography and nanoimprint lithography. Besides, we exploit supramolecular self-assembly principles to make hierarchical patterns; combining top-down and bottom-up patterning methods. Examples of such hierarchical patterns are micrometer patterns of gold nanodots, which are spaced at nanometer distances.

Finally, we are not only interested in patterning flat (2D) surfaces, but also in 3D patterned hydrogels. We are developing several novel approaches using 3D templates in order to make, for example, µm-sized channel structures in hydrogels that guide cell growth and migration.