Alveole PRIMO
Micropatterning System

With funding received for a ‘Micro-Maker Lab’ initiative for the UCSF Parnassus Heights campus, the Wittmann lab recently purchased an Alveole PRIMO micropatterning system. This is a microscope mounted contactless UV photopatterning device to engineer custom microenvironments and fine-tune topography, stiffness and biochemistry at the micrometer scale with high flexibility and reproducibility.

Example applications are:

  • Custom patterns and gradients of one or multiple extracellular matrix proteins for cellular microenvironments
  • Soft photolithography of activated hydrogels (i.e. polyethylene glycol diacrylate) to directly generate micrometer scale 3D structures.
  • Photolithography of commercial photoresist to make microfluidic devices or PDMS mold masters.

The PRIMO system is located in HSW-6 and is freely available to the UCSF community. At least for the next year, we can provide reagents for pilot experiments. One prime advantage of this system is that patterns can be designed and directly uploaded as PDF or TIF files. Depending on the size of the pattern exposure takes between minutes to less than an hour. At this point, we have established protocols that work well for extracellular matrix protein patterning on coverslips. Other photolithography techniques will require further development together with interested users.

Requests for usage should be sent to Torsten Wittmann.