Biological Testing with Patterned Electrodes

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Characterizing and testing biological samples can be done through patterned electrodes. The overall structure and quality of an electrode can either enhance or impinge on sampling results. An ideal electrode design should attain a high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), a low electrode impedance, and display resistance to harsh biological environments. Current generation and transportation depend on the metal coating present on an electrode surface.

Masking & Micro-patterning

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Micro-patterning is commonly done through masking. Creating a photomask involves important specifications that can directly affect a resulting pattern transfer. Mask material, environmental conditions, and type of resist should be considered. But prior to processing, photomask design characteristics must be determined.  

Thin Film Interference Effects

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During the photolithography process, thin film interference effects can influence a substrates surface properties. Common interference effects include the standing wave effect, reflective notching, edge bead formation, and under/over baking. The Platypus Technologies engineers have enhanced our standard operating procedures to account for potential defects caused by thin film interference effects.

Photolithography based Lift-off

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Lift-off is often conducted following a series of photolithography steps that create a photoresist layer onto a substrate. Chemical and metal lift-off methods are used to create distinctive patterns onto a surface. Both types of lift-offs can be time consuming compared to wet etching, however lift-off is a safer method that offers lower production costs and enhanced processing capabilities.

Wet Etching

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Wet etching is a technique to pattern metal films into functional devices. A metal film covered with a patterned photoresist is submerged into a liquid that selectively removes exposed areas of the metal.  This form of etching is an isotropic method, meaning that the metal is removed with equal rate all directions. 

Raman Scattering of the Sulfur Bond at Metal Surfaces

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A research study from Iowa State University explored the potential of using directional Raman scattering spectroscopy to characterize self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) deposited on gold (Au) and silver (Ag) surfaces. SAMs are formed by absorption of organic thiols (R-SH) on metal surfaces and are used in microelectronic applications requiring precise surface patterning of metal films.  

Scanning Tunneling Microscopy of Ultra-flat Gold Surfaces

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New STM imaging study reveals stunning atomic-scale details on Ultra-flat Gold Surfaces.

Ultra-flat gold surfaces enable high signal-to-noise imaging for AFM and STM applications.  Because of their ultra-smooth topography, these surfaces have been used to study 2D materials, single strands of DNA, self-assembled monolayers, nano-plasmonic devices, and cell membrane monolayers.    

Cell Invasion Assays for Cancer Research

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Cell invasion across the basement membrane is an important step in cancer metastasis.  In this blog, we discuss cell invasion assays and their application for cancer research.  Metastasis occurs when cancer cells pass through the basement membrane of the organ where they originated, and subsequently spread into different organs of the body, where they form secondary tumors [1].  

Comparison of the Oris Cell Migration Assay to the Scratch Assay

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Cell migration is integral to many physiological processes, including embryonic development, tissue regeneration, and wound healing.  In addition, cell migration is involved in tumor metastasis and atherosclerosis.[1]  One assay commonly used to study cell migration in vitro is the scratch assay.  The scratch assay is performed by creating a cell-free gap, or “scratch”, on a confluent cell monolayer upon which cells at the edge of the opening move inward to close the scratch.  Cell migration can be assessed by comparing images captured at the onset of the scratch creation and at user-defined intervals during scratch closure.  The scratch assay is straightforward to perform and is inexpensive.  However, methods for creating the scratch vary from lab to lab and results can be highly variable.  Furthermore, the process of scratch formation has been shown to damage the underlying extracellular matrix (ECM).[2] 

Counting Cells in Migration Assays with ImageJ

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This application note describes a method to measure cell migration, using ImageJ, by counting the number of cells that have migrated into the Detection Zone in an Oris™ Cell Migration Assay. ImageJ is a freeware image analysis program developed at the National Institutes of Health (https://imagej.nih.gov/ij/).

Cells on the Move: Do surface coatings influence cell migration?

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Experiments show that surface coatings play an important role in cell movement

When performing cell migration experiments, a perennial question is: what surface coatings should be used to culture a particular cell type? Scientists working in Cancer Research, Wound Healing, or Drug Discovery utilize cell cultures to make important experiments and advance our understanding of biological mechanisms.  In particular, assays for cell migration enable characterization of conditions and substances that influence movement of cells.  For example, scientists using the OrisTM Cell Migration Assays successfully identified proteins, mRNA and antioxidants that inhibit migration of tumor cells.