Microscale systems have a strong and increasing presence in basic and applied biomedical research. The ability to manipulate and define an experimental system at the scale of micrometers has revealed much about how cells interact with their complex environment. Conversely, miniaturization of biomolecular analyses systems hold the promise of transportable and effective diagnostics. We are proposing to purchase a microfabrication platform to accelerate research into these fields on the Columbia University campus. This area of research has seen a tremendous increase in recent years on this campus, and currently our need for sophisticated microfabrication is not met through resources on campus or in the local area. Specifically, we have a need for fabrication techniques that provide patterning of micrometer scale features over areas sufficiently large to carry out contemporary cell culture experiments. The platform we are proposing is a state-of-the-art laser lithography platform, with a minimum feature size of 1 micrometer. In addition to providing much needed capacity, this platform offers several key capabilities. In this approach, a laser is scanned across a working surface, directly exposing designated regions of the substrate for later processing. By circumventing the need for a photolithographic mask, this approach shortens the design/analysis cycle for micropatterning, and dramatically reduces the cost of each iteration. In addition, control over the laser intensity makes possible a range of advance patterning techniques for making complex surfaces. This apparatus will complement the facilities currently in place on the Columbia University campus, providing an important resource for this community. The team of investigators in this proposed project represents a wide range of biomedical science and engineering interests. By making this capacity available to this diverse group of interests, the proposed equipment will have a wide impact on accelerating research.
|Nédelec, Stéphane; Peljto, Mirza; Shi, Peng et al. (2012) Concentration-dependent requirement for local protein synthesis in motor neuron subtype-specific response to axon guidance cues. J Neurosci 32:1496-506|