An ordinary atomic force microscopy (AFM) was functionalized and applied to electrochemically draw micropatterns of biomolecules. To fabricate an electrochemical AFM probe having an electrode at the tip, a metal-coated AFM probe was first insulated with Parylene C, and then the apex of the tip was ground mechanically to expose the electrode. The effective electrode diameter was estimated to be ca. 500 nm. The electrode probe was positioned close to a heparin-coated antibiofouling substrate and used to locally generate hypobromous acid from a dilute Br- solution to render the substrate surface protein-adhesive. In situ topographical imaging after the electrochemical treatment suggested the heparin layer became detached to allow the adsorption of proteins, in this case fibronectin. The diameter of the drawn fibronectin pattern was 2 μm, which is one order of magnitude smaller than we achieved previously using a microdisk electrode (tip diameter 10 μm).
- Protein patterning
- Surface modification