The functionalization of photoresists with colloids has enabled the development of novel active and passive components for microfabricated devices. Incorporation of colloidal particles often results in undesirable reductions in photolithographic fidelity and device transparency. We present a novel photoresist composite incorporating poly(methyl methacrylate-co-methacrylic acid), the epoxy resin 1002F and colloidal maghemite nanoparticles to produce a stable, transparent and biocompatible photoresist. The composite photoresist was prepared in a scalable fashion in batches up to 1 kg with the particles remaining dispersed during room-temperature storage for at least six months. Following photolithography to form films, the nanoparticle size remained well below that of visible-light wavelengths as demonstrated by electron microscopy. Structures fabricated from the photoresist by conventional photolithography displayed aspect ratios greater than ten. When grown on the photoresist, the metabolic rate of HeLa cells was unchanged relative to cells grown on glass. Primary murine mesenchymal stem cells also displayed a normal morphology on the resist surface. The ability to manipulate microstructures formed from the composite was demonstrated by magnetically collecting clonal colonies of HeLa cells from a micropallet array. The transparency, biocompatibility, scalable synthesis and superparamagnetic properties of the novel composite address key limitations of existing magnetic composites.
Shah, P K, M R Hughes, Y Wang, C E Sims, N L Allbritton
J. Micromech. Microeng.