Trehalose glycopolymer resists allow direct writing of protein patterns by electron-beam lithography

Bat E., Lee J., Lau U. Y. , Maynard H. D.

NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, vol.6, 2015 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 6
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1038/ncomms7654
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus


Direct-write patterning of multiple proteins on surfaces is of tremendous interest for a myriad of applications. Precise arrangement of different proteins at increasingly smaller dimensions is a fundamental challenge to apply the materials in tissue engineering, diagnostics, proteomics and biosensors. Herein, we present a new resist that protects proteins during electron-beam exposure and its application in direct-write patterning of multiple proteins. Polymers with pendant trehalose units are shown to effectively crosslink to surfaces as negative resists, while at the same time providing stabilization to proteins during the vacuum and electron-beam irradiation steps. In this manner, arbitrary patterns of several different classes of proteins such as enzymes, growth factors and immunoglobulins are realized. Utilizing the high-precision alignment capability of electron-beam lithography, surfaces with complex patterns of multiple proteins are successfully generated at the micrometre and nanometre scale without requiring cleanroom conditions.