Nanopatterned Surfaces for Highly Selective Adhesion, Sensing and Separation

Primary Inventors: 

This technology provides novel, engineered surfaces containing nanoscale adhesive elements whose surface arrangements are optimized for highly selective adhesion, sensing and separation of biological or non-biological analyte particles in a broad range of sizes, from submicron to tens of microns. The nanopatterned surfaces are designed to exploit repulsive interactions between analyte particles and the main portion of the surface in addition to attractions between the adhesive elements and the target particles. The competitive attractive and repulsive interactions produce tunable selective dynamic adhesion for approaching particles, discriminating targets on the basis of size, local curvature (roughness), net charge density, and arrangement of surface functional groups.

  • Sensing and/or separation of cells, bacteria or viruses in pharmaceutical and biomedical applications
  • Separation of organic and inorganic particles such as latexes, oxides, etc. 
  • Manipulation of particles carrying biological functionality in assay applications 
  • Development of materials with controlled wetting and adhesive properties 

  • High Selectivity: The novel surface design incorporates analyte interactions with both the nanoconstructs and the main body of the surface. This produces enhanced selectivity for analyte adhesion, sensing and separation, compared with any selectivity attributed to the individual nanoconstructs.
  • Broad Applicability: The nanopatterned surfaces can be fabricated using polymers or proteins on planar or arbitrarily-shaped non-planar surfaces (including fibers and packings) for the characterization and/or separation of a variety of analytes.
  • Low-Cost Surface Patterning Process: The nanopatterned surface fabrication does not require sophisticated and costly patterning technologies, and also may not require organic solvents.
  • Re-Usable, Self-Cleaning Surfaces: A portion of the parameter space for these surfaces produces weak net attractions between targets and the collector, such that the collecting surface spontaneously clears after an exposure, facilitating repeat uses. 
Licensing Status: 
Available for licensing or research collaboration
Patent Status: 

US Patents 7,752,931 and 8,117,902 issued

UMA 05-10 and UMA 07-35
For More Information: 

Ling X. Shen, Ph.D., M.B.A.
Senior Licensing Officer
Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property
Phone: 413-545-5276