Nanoaperture fabrication via colloidal lithography for single molecule fluorescence analysis.
In single molecule fluorescence studies, background emission from labeled substrates often restricts their concentrations to non-physiological nanomolar values.Djou Ounas
One approach to address this challenge is the use of zero-mode waveguides (ZMWs), nanoscale holes in a thin metal film that physically and optically confine the observation volume allowing much higher concentrations of fluorescent substrates. Standard fabrication of ZMWs utilizes slow and costly E-beam nano-lithography.
Herein, ZMWs are made using a self-assembled mask of polystyrene microspheres, enabling fabrication of thousands of ZMWs in parallel without sophisticated equipment. Polystyrene 1 μm dia. microbeads self-assemble on a glass slide into a hexagonal array, forming a mask for the deposition of metallic posts in the inter-bead interstices.
The width of those interstices (and subsequent posts) is adjusted within 100-300 nm by partially fusing the beads at the polystyrene glass transition temperature. The beads are dissolved in toluene, aluminum or gold cladding is deposited around the posts, and those are dissolved, leaving behind an array ZMWs.
Parameter optimization and the performance of the ZMWs are presented. By using colloidal self-assembly, typical laboratories can make use of sub-wavelength ZMW technology avoiding the availability and expense of sophisticated clean-room environments and equipment.
Characterization methods for studying protein adsorption on nano-polystyrene beads.
This work is dealing with the use of polystyrene (PS) nanoparticles as substrates for bioanalytical specific interactions. Different techniques were used for the accurate characterization of the PS nanoparticles of 100 nm and 196 nm before coating them with a layer of antibodies against immunoglobulins of type E (aIgE), giving to the particle a specific functionality. The formation of the aIgE adsorbed layer was monitored using centrifugal particle separation (CPS) and centrifugal field flow fractionation (CF3) experiments, which allowed to determine the size changes and the adsorbed mass. Particle sizes were also measured with DLS, used both as stand-alone instrument and coupled to CF3 (CF3-DLS). The complementary information obtained from the CPS and CF3-DLS measurements allowed the estimation of the density of the aIgE shell.
The proteins immobilized at the surface fully retained their activity, as proven by the reactions between the functionalized PS-aIgE particles and immunoglobulins of type E (IgE) dispersed in suspensions prepared on purpose.