Topography and biocompatibility of patterned hydrophobic/hydrophilic zein layers

Qin Wang*, Wujing Xian, Shifeng Li, Chang Liu, Graciela W. Padua

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


The topography and biocompatibility of zein layers adsorbed on patterned templates containing hydrophilic and hydrophobic regions were investigated. Nanopatterned templates consisting of hydrophilic lines on a hydrophobic background were drawn by dip-pen nanolithography (DPN) on gold-coated surfaces. 16-Mercaptohexadecanoic acid (COOH(CH2)15SH, MHA) was used as primary ink to generate hydrophilic lines. Unpatterned surfaces were backfilled with 18-octadecanethiol (CH3(CH2)17SH, ODT), which generated hydrophobic regions. Zein was allowed to adsorb on patterned surfaces from alcohol-water solutions. The topography of zein deposits was observed by atomic force microscopy (AFM). Height profiles from AFM measurements revealed that zein deposits followed closely the nanopatterned templates. The biocompatibility of zein layers assembled over hydrophilic/hydrophobic micropatterned templates was investigated. Templates containing MHA lines and ODT regions were generated by micro-contact printing (μCP). Mouse fibroblasts seeded on patterned zein layers proliferated on zein deposited over MHA lines, but not on zein over ODT. The experiment indicated that fibroblast cells were able to respond to variations in the underlying surface chemistry, transmitted by the different orientation adopted by zein on the different substrates. This property may be useful in controlling the spatial distribution of cells on patterned protein layers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)844-851
Number of pages8
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2008


  • Biocompatibility
  • Biomolecules structure and function
  • Cell adhesion
  • Surface modification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


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