Ordered Porous Templates and Replicas in Biotechnology

Ulrike Rehn, Petra Göring, Kornelius Nielsch, Sven Matthias, Ralf B. Wehrspohn, and Ulrich Gösele

Max-Planck-Institute for Microstructure Physics, Weinberg 2, D-06120 Halle, Germany

e-mail: urehn@mpi-halle.mpg.de

URL: http://www.mpi-halle.mpg.de/~porous_m/rehn.html


Porous membranes are used in several areas of biotechnology. We have developed over the last 5 years processes that allows us to prepare highly ordered pore arrays with pore sizes in the range of 25 nm to few microns. These pore arrays consists of either silicon or alumina. The inner walls of the pores can be further functionalised by noble metals or biocompatible polymers [1]. Moreover, these structures can also be replicated creating very monodisperse metal nano- or µ-wires (Ag, Au, Ni, Co, Cu). We will discuss the applicability of the porous materials in two areas: the use as analytical systems and as biomarkers.

Lipid bilayers are used to study drug pathways through cells. For example, we study together with the University of Münster the drug transport through epithelial cells which are cultivated on top of the porous templates [2]. On the other side, biological molecules could also be used in a more technological way. Using different replicated metal wires or prepare different surface design, the wires can be used as biomarkers [3]. For example, if the porous template is three dimensionally structured, so are the metal µ-wires. This yields a strong contrast in the reflectivity which can be detected with an optical microscope. DNA and proteins could be linked to these µ-wires.