Fluorescent dyes added to UV-cure resins allow the rapid fabrication of fluorescent micropatterns on standard glass coverslips by two-photon optical lithography. We use this lithographic method to tailor fiduciary markers, focal references, and calibration tools, for fluorescence and laser scanning microscopy. Fluorescent microlithography provides spatial landmarks to quantify molecular transport, cell growth and migration, and to compensate for focal drift during time-lapse imaging. We show that the fluorescent patterned microstructures are biocompatible with cultures of mammalian cell lines and hippocampal neurons. Furthermore, the high-relief topology of the lithographed substrates is utilized as a mold for poly(dimethylsiloxane) stamps to create protein patterns by microcontact printing, representing an alternative to the current etching techniques. We present two different applications of such protein patterns for localizing cell adhesion and guidance of neurite outgrowth.
(c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.