Protein patterns of different shapes and densities are useful tools for studies of cell behavior and to create biomaterials that induce specific cellular responses. Up to now the dominant techniques for creating protein patterns are mostly based on serial writing processes or require templates such as photomasks or elastomer stamps. Only a few of these techniques permit the creation of grayscale patterns. Herein, the development of a lithography system using a digital mirror device which allows fast patterning of proteins by immobilizing fluorescently labeled molecules via photobleaching is reported. Grayscale patterns of biotin with pixel sizes in the range of 2.5 μm are generated within 10 s of exposure on an area of about 5 mm2. This maskless projection lithography method permits the rapid and inexpensive generation of protein patterns definable by any user-defined grayscale digital image on substrate areas in the mm2 to cm2 range.
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