Patterning surfaces with functional polymers

Nat Mater. 2008 Apr;7(4):277-90. doi: 10.1038/nmat2109.


The ability to pattern functional polymers at different length scales is important for research fields including cell biology, tissue engineering and medicinal science and the development of optics and electronics. The interest and capabilities of polymer patterning have originated from the abundance of functionalities of polymers and a wide range of applications of the patterns. This paper reviews recent advances in top-down and bottom-up patterning of polymers using photolithography, printing techniques, self-assembly of block copolymers and instability-induced patterning. Finally, challenges and future directions are discussed from the point of view of both applicability and strategies for the surface patterning of polymers.