We report on a versatile and easy approach to micro-pattern gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) on 8-arm poly(ethylene glycol)-vinyl sulfone thiol (8PEG-VS-SH) hydrogels, and the application of these patterned Au NPs stripes in controlling cell adhesion. Firstly, the Au NPs were patterned on silicon wafers, and then they were transferred onto reactive, multifunctional 8PEG-VS-SH hydrogels. The patterned, micrometer-sized Au NPs stripes with variable spacings ranging from 20 μm to 50 μm were created by our recently developed micro-contact deprinting method. For this micro-contact deprinting approach, four different PEG-based stamp materials have been tested and it was found that the triblock copolymer PEG-PPG-PEG-(3BC) stamp established the best transfer efficiency and has been used in the ongoing work. After the successful creation of micro-patterns of Au NPs stripes on silicon, the patterns can be transferred conveniently and accurately to 8PEG-VS-SH hydrogel films. Subsequently these Au NPs patterns on 8PEG-VS-SH hydrogels have been investigated in cell culture with murine fibroblasts (L-929). The cells have been observed to adhere to and spread on those nano-patterned micro-lines in a remarkably selective and ordered manner.
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