Development of an electro-responsive platform for the controlled transfection of mammalian cells

Andrew L. Hook, Helmut Thissen, Jason P. Hayes, Nicolas H. Voelcker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperOtherpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The recent development of living microarrays as novel tools for the analysis of gene expression in an in-situ environment promises to unravel gene function within living organisms. In order to significantly enhance microarray performance, we are working towards electro-responsive DNA transfection chips. This study focuses on the control of DNA adsorption and desorption by appropriate surface modification of highly doped p++ silicon. Silicon was modified by plasma polymerisation of allylamine (ALAPP), a non-toxic surface that sustains cell growth. Subsequent high surface density grafting of poly(ethylene oxide) formed a layer resistant to biomolecule adsorption and cell attachment. Spatially controlled excimer laser ablation of the surface produced micron resolution patterns of re-exposed plasma polymer whilst the rest of the surface remained non-fouling. We observed electro-stimulated preferential adsorption of DNA to the ALAPP surface and subsequent desorption by the application of a negative bias. Cell culture experiments with HEK 293 cells demonstrated efficient and controlled transfection of cells using the expression of green fluorescent protein as a reporter. Thus, these chemically patterned surfaces are promising platforms for use as living microarrays.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2005
Externally publishedYes
EventBiomedical Applications of Micro- and Nanoengineering II 2004 - Sydney, NSW, Australia
Duration: 13 Dec 200415 Dec 2004

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferenceBiomedical Applications of Micro- and Nanoengineering II 2004
CitySydney, NSW


  • Adsorption
  • Desorption
  • DNA
  • Non-fouling
  • PEO
  • Plasma polymerisation
  • Surface modification
  • Transfection

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