This study reports the pico- and femtosecond laser-induced photocrosslinking of protein microstructures. The capabilities of a picosecond Nd:YAG laser to promote multiphoton excited crosslinking of proteins were evaluated by fabricating 2D and 3D microstructures of avidin, bovine serum albumin (BSA) and biotinylated bovine serum albumin (bBSA). The multiphoton absorption-induced photocrosslinking of proteins was demonstrated here for the first time with a non-toxic biomolecule flavin mononucleotide (FMN) as the photosensitizer. Sub-micrometer and micrometer scale structures were fabricated from several different compositions of protein and photosensitizer by varying the average laser power and scanning speed in order to determine the optimal process parameters for efficient photocrosslinking. In addition, the retention of ligand-binding ability of the crosslinked protein structures was shown by fluorescence imaging of immobilized biotin or streptavidin conjugated fluorescence labels. The surface topography and the resolution of the protein patterns fabricated with the Nd:YAG laser were compared to the results obtained with a femtosecond Ti:Sapphire laser. Quite similar grain characteristics and comparable feature sizes were achieved with both laser sources, which demonstrates the utility of the low-cost Nd:YAG microlaser for direct laser writing of protein microstructures.
- Nd:YAG laser
- fluorescence imaging