Development of new patterning methodologies

As far as the patterning is concerned, we aim to make a large variety of patterned surfaces, bearing chemical, mechanical or topographic patterns or combinations of them. Also, gradient patterns are of interest in order to study chemo- or durotaxis of cells.


The patterning methodologies we are employing take advantage of established techniques such as soft lithography and nanoimprint lithography. For instance, our novel patterning method, the Fill-Molding In Capillaries (FIMIC) can generate clearly defined linear patterns on a smooth surface. This can be extremely advantageous to study the influence of the substrate properties in absolute terms (presence or absence), without transition areas such as those generated by gradients.

Besides, we exploit supramolecular self-assembly principles to make hierarchical patterns; combining top-down and bottom-up patterning methods. Examples of such hierarchical patterns are micrometer patterns of gold nanodots, which are spaced at nanometer distances.

Finally, we are not only interested in patterning flat (2D) surfaces, but also in 3D patterned hydrogels. We are developing several novel approaches using 3D templates in order to make, for example, µm-sized channel structures in hydrogels that guide cell growth and migration.

Related publications:

  • Cigdem Yesildag, Arina Tyushina and Marga C. Lensen “Nano-Contact Transfer with Gold Nanoparticles on PEG Hydrogels and Using Wrinkled PDMS-Stamps” Polymers, 2017, 9(6): 199. DOI: 10.3390/polym9060199

  • Cigdem Yesildag, Christoph Bartsch, Gonzalo de Vicente and Marga C. Lensen “Novel Wet Micro-Contact Deprinting Method for Patterning Gold Nanoparticles on PEG-Hydrogels and Thereby Controlling Cell Adhesion” Polymers, 2017, 9(5): 176. DOI: 10.3390/polym9050176

  • Fang Ren, Cigdem Yesildag, Zhenfang Zhang, Marga C. Lensen “Surface Patterning of Gold Nanoparticles on PEG-Based Hydrogels to Control Cell Adhesion” Polymers, 2017, 9(5): 154. DOI: 10.3390/polym9050154

  • T. Sabel and M. C. Lensen. "Volume Holography: Novel Materials, Methods and Applications" in ‘Holographic Materials and Optical Systems‘ (ISBN 978-953-51-5033-6) InTech- Open Access Publisher, Ed.: I. Naydenova, T. Babeva, and D. Nazarova, 2017.

  • Jingyu Chen, Manar Arafeh, Amandine Guiet, Diana Felkel, Axel Loebus, Susan Kelleher, Anna Fischer, Marga Lensen* "Hybrid Hierarchical Patterns of Gold Nanoparticles and Poly(Ethylene Glycol) Microstructures" Journal of Materials Chemistry C, special issue “Nanofabrication” (on invitation); 2013, 1(46): 7709–7715. DOI: 10.1039/c3tc30811a


  • V. A. Schulte, D. F. Alves, P. P. Dalton, M. Moeller, M. C. Lensen* and P. Mela* "Micro-Engineered PEG Hydrogels: 3D Scaffolds for Guided Cell Growth" Macromolecular Bioscience, 2013, 13(5): 562–572. DOI: 10.1002/mabi.201200376

  • Susan Kelleher, Aniek Jongerius, Axel Loebus, Christine Strehmel, Zhenfang Zhang and Marga C. Lensen* "AFM Characterisation of elastically micropatterned surfaces fabricated by Fill-Molding In Capillaries (FIMIC) and investigation of the topographical influence on cell adhesion to the patterns" Advanced Engineering Materials (special issue Advanced Biomaterials; Euro Biomat Jena), 2012, 14(3): B56-B66. DOI: 10.1002/adem.201180087

  • S. Gilles, M. Diez, A. Offenhäusser, M. C. Lensen and D. Mayer* "Deformation of nanostructures on polymer stamps during soft UV nanoimprint lithography" Nanotechnology, 2010, 21(24): 245307 (7pp). DOI: 10.1088/0957-4484/21/24/245307


  • J. Chen, P. Mela, M. Möller and M. C. Lensen* "Micro-contact deprinting: a technique to pattern gold nanoparticles" ACS Nano, 2009, 3(6): 1451-1456. DOI: 10.1021/nn9002924


  • M. Diez, P. Mela, V. Seshan, M. Möller and M. C. Lensen* "Nanomolding of PEG-based hydrogels with sub-10nm resolution" Small, 2009, 5(23): 2756-2760. DOI: 10.1002/smll.200901313

  • Marga C. Lensen,* Petra Mela, Ahmed Mourran, Juergen Groll, Jean Heuts, Haitao Rong, Martin Möller: "Micro- and Nanopatterned Star Poly(Ethylene Glycol) (PEG) Materials Prepared by UV-Based Imprint Lithography", Langmuir, 2007, 23(14): 7841-7846. DOI: 10.1021/la7007683

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