Patterned immobilization of synthetic and biological ligands on material surfaces with controlled surface densities is important for various bioanalytical and cell biological purposes. This paper describes the synthesis, characterization, and application of a novel silane coupling agent bearing a photoremovable succinimidyl carbonate, which enables the photopatterning of various primary amines on glass and silicon surfaces. The silane coupling agent is 1-[5-methoxy-2-nitro-4-(3-trimethoxysilylpropyloxy)phenyl]ethyl N-succinimidyl carbonate. The distinct feature of this molecule is that it has a photocleavable 2-nitrobenzyl switch between a trimethoxysilyl group and a succinimidyl carbonate, each reactive to the hydroxy groups of inorganic oxides and primary amines. Based on this molecular design, the compound allows for the one-step introduction of succinimidyl carbonates onto the surface of glass and silicon, immobilization of primary amines, and region-selective and dose-dependent release of the amines by near-UV irradiation. Therefore, we were able to pattern amine ligands on the substrates in given surface densities and arbitrary geometries by controlling the doses and regions of photoirradiation. These features were verified by UV-vis spectroscopy, contact angle measurements, infrared (IR) spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), ellipsometry, and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The compound was applied to form a chemical density gradient of amino-biotin on a silicon substrate in a range of 0.87-0.12 chains/nm2 by controlling photoirradiation under a standard fluorescence microscope. Furthermore, we also succeeded in forming a chemical density gradient at a lower surface density range (0.15-0.011 chains/nm2) on the substrate by diluting the feed amino-biotin with an inert control amine.
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