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      Soft lithography for micro- and nanoscale patterning.

      Nature protocols
      Biotechnology, instrumentation, methods, Coated Materials, Biocompatible, Elastomers, Microfluidic Analytical Techniques, Nanostructures, Nanotechnology, Photography, Polymers

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          Abstract

          This protocol provides an introduction to soft lithography--a collection of techniques based on printing, molding and embossing with an elastomeric stamp. Soft lithography provides access to three-dimensional and curved structures, tolerates a wide variety of materials, generates well-defined and controllable surface chemistries, and is generally compatible with biological applications. It is also low in cost, experimentally convenient and has emerged as a technology useful for a number of applications that include cell biology, microfluidics, lab-on-a-chip, microelectromechanical systems and flexible electronics/photonics. As examples, here we focus on three of the commonly used soft lithographic techniques: (i) microcontact printing of alkanethiols and proteins on gold-coated and glass substrates; (ii) replica molding for fabrication of microfluidic devices in poly(dimethyl siloxane), and of nanostructures in polyurethane or epoxy; and (iii) solvent-assisted micromolding of nanostructures in poly(methyl methacrylate).

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