Protein-Protein Nanoimprinting of Silk Fibroin Films

Protein-Protein Nanoimprinting of Silk Fibroin Films



Tufts researchers have developed novel protein-protein imprinting methods for rapid, high-fidelity, and/or high-throughput fabrication of nanoscale structures in silk films, through controlled manipulation of heat and/or pressure. 



Nanoimprinting is a lithography technique for fabricating micro-, submicro- and nano-scale patterns.  In such methods, a mold or template made of such materials as metal, is pressed onto a thermoplastic material, such as silk-based materials, heated above its glass transition temperature, and the softened material conforms to the mold due to applied pressure. 



The invention is based at least on the recognition that crystalized silk materials can be effectively used as a template or “master” for carrying out the process of imprinting involving the use of silk materials for imprinting, by differentially controlling material properties of silk fibroin.  Accordingly, the methods described herein leverage glass transition temperature (Tg) of silk materials to carry out rapid, high fidelity imprinting capable of achieving high resolution.  In some embodiments, resolution of about 100 nm may be achieved. 


US Publication No. 2019-0085140 (March 21, 2019)


Licensing Contact

Martin Son