Writing lipids with FluidFM

Direct-Write Patterning of Biomimetic Lipid Membranes In Situ with FluidFM

  • Author:

    E. Berganza, M. Hirtz

  • Source:

    ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 13 (2021) 50774-50784

  • Date: 2021
  • The creation of biologically inspired artificial membranes on substrates with custom size and in close proximity to each other not only provides a platform to study biological processes in a simplified manner, but they also constitute building blocks for chemical or biological sensors integrated in microfluidic devices. Scanning probe lithography tools such as dip-pen nanolithography (DPN) have opened a new paradigm in this regard, although they possess some inherent drawbacks like the need to operate in air environment or the limited choice of lipids that can be patterned. In this work, we propose the use of the fluid force microscopy (FluidFM) technology to fabricate biomimetic membranes without losing the multiplexing capability of DPN but gaining flexibility in lipid inks and patterning environment. We shed light on the driving mechanisms of the FluidFM-mediated lithography processes in air and liquid. The obtained results should prompt the creation of more realistic biomimetic membranes with arbitrary complex phospholipid mixtures, cholesterol, and potential functional membrane proteins directly patterned in physiological environment.