The widespread use of DNA in microarrays for applications in biotechnology, combined with its promise in programmed nanomaterials assembly, unusual electronic devices, and other areas has created interest in methods for patterning DNA with high spatial resolution. Techniques based on thermal or piezoelectric inkjet printing are attractive due to their noncontacting nature and their compatibility with diverse materials and substrate types; their modest resolution (i.e., 10-20 μm) represents a major limitation for certain systems. Here we demonstrate the use of an operationally similar printing approach that exploits electrohydrodynamic forces, rather than thermal or acoustic energy, to eject DNA inks through fine nozzles, in a controlled fashion. This DNA printer is capable of resolution approaching 100 nm. A range of experiments on patterns of DNA formed with this printer demonstrates its key features. Example applications in DNA-directed nanoparticle assembly and DNA aptamer-based biosensing illustrate two representative uses of the patterns that can be formed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanical Engineering