Poly(dimethylsiloxane) contamination in Micro-Contact Printing and its influence for patterning oligonucleotides


C. Thibault, C. Séverac, A.F. Mingotaud, C. Vieu and M. Mauzac



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It is well-established that, during microcontact printing (μCP) using poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS)-based stamps, some unexpected siloxane fragments can be transferred from the stamp to the surface of the sample. This so-called contamination effect coexists with the delivery of the molecules constituting the ink and by this way influences the printing process. The real impact of this contamination for the μCP technique is still partially unknown. In this work, we investigate the kinetics of this contamination process through the surface characterization of both the sample and the stamp after imprinting. The way both the curing conditions of the PDMS material and the contact time influence the degree of contamination of the surface is investigated on silicon and glass substrates. We propose a cleaning process of the stamp during several hours which eliminates any trace of contamination during printing. We show that hydrophobicity recovery of PDMS surfaces after hydrophilic treatment using oxygen plasma is considerably slowed down when the PDMS material is cleaned using our procedure. Finally, by comparing cleaned and uncleaned PDMS stamps, we show the influence of contamination on the quality of μCP using fluorescent DNA molecules as an ink. Surprisingly, we observe that the amount of DNA molecules transferred during μCP is higher for the uncleaned stamp, highlighting the positive impact of the presence of low molecular weight siloxane fragments on the μCP process. This result is attributed to the better adsorption of oligonucleotides on the stamp surface in presence of these contaminating molecules.

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Date added: 2012-08-08 21:18:36 | Last time updated: 2012-08-09 19:14:44 | Viewed: 940 times

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