Temperature-Induced Size-Control of Bioactive Surface Patterns


  • The authors are grateful to Prof. Manfred Stamm and the Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden for the opportunity to perform polymer synthetic experiments. Hartmut Komber (Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden) is acknowledged for NMR investigations. Wolfgang Birnbaum and Dirk Kuckling (TU Dresden) are acknowledged for the determination of the polymer molecular masses. The kind help of Chris Gell (MPI-CBG) and Laurel Rohde (CRTD Dresden) on the manuscript was highly appreciated. This work was supported by the BMBF (Grant 03N8712), the Volkswagen Foundation and the Max-Planck-Society.


We present a novel method to produce bioactive surface patterns whose size can be changed in response to a variation of the environmental conditions, rather than local treatment. Our approach is based on the structured surface-immobilization of thermoresponsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) polymer chains with different transition temperatures. We experimentally demonstrate how the size of an area in which a particular polymer is collapsed or swollen can be controlled by ambient temperature. We show the temperature-induced size-control of a bioactive surface pattern by embedding functional motor proteins into the switchable polymer layers.