Nanoscale protein arrays of rich morphologies via self-assembly on chemically treated diblock copolymer surfaces.

PMID 23395956


Well-controlled assembly of proteins on supramolecular templates of block copolymers can be extremely useful for high-throughput biodetection. We report the adsorption and assembly characteristics of a model antibody protein to various polystyrene-block-poly(4-vinylpyridine) templates whose distinctive nanoscale structures are obtained through time-regulated exposure to chloroform vapor. The strong adsorption preference of the protein to the polystyrene segment in the diblock copolymer templates leads to an easily predictable, controllable, rich set of nanoscale protein morphologies through self-assembly. We also demonstrate that the chemical identities of various subareas within individual nanostructures can be readily elucidated by investigating the corresponding protein adsorption behavior on each chemically distinct area of the template. In our approach, a rich set of intricate nanoscale morphologies of protein arrays that cannot be easily attained through other means can be generated straightforwardly via self-assembly of proteins on chemically treated diblock copolymer surfaces, without the use of clean-room-based fabrication tools. Our approach provides much-needed flexibility and versatility for the use of block copolymer-based protein arrays in biodetection. The ease of fabrication in producing well-defined and self-assembled templates can contribute to a high degree of versatility and simplicity in acquiring an intricate nanoscale geometry and spatial distribution of proteins in arrays. These advantages can be extremely beneficial both for fundamental research and biomedical detection, especially in the areas of solid-state-based, high-throughput protein sensing.