WARF: P00262US

Modified Carbon, Silicon & Germanium Surfaces for Biomolecular Arrays


Robert Hamers, Lloyd Smith, Todd Strother

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing a method for creating modified carbon, silicon and germanium surfaces.
OVERVIEWAlthough surfaces modified to contain DNA have considerable utility, the performance of these novel composite materials is not optimum and their surface chemistry remains poorly characterized. Crystalline silicon is an attractive alternative substrate for DNA immobilization, due to its purity and well defined structure; however, few strategies for creating useful DNA-modified silicon surfaces exist today.
THE INVENTIONUW-Madison researchers have developed a method for creating modified carbon, silicon and germanium surfaces. The method starts with an alkene molecule that has been modified to contain a protected, reactive moiety, preferably at a terminal carbon. The modified and protected alkene is reacted with an unoxidized carbon, silicon or germanium substrate to yield an array of alkane molecules covalently bonded to the substrate. Preferably, this reaction is photo-initiated by contacting the alkene with the substrate and exposing it to a suitable wavelength of UV light. The points of attachment can be photopatterned by controlling where the light falls upon the substrate/alkene reactants. Once the alkane molecules are deprotected, biomolecules such as nucleic acids or proteins can be attached directly to the reactive moiety on the alkane to yield a surface of biomolecules immobilized on the substrate. Alternatively, a crosslinker can be interposed between the biomolecule and alkane.
  • Biomolecular arrays
  • Enables the formation of highly ordered biomolecule arrays of defined surface density on an inert, inorganic and unoxidized surface
  • Provides a direct route to DNA modification of silicon surfaces for biotechnology applications
  • Surfaces are extremely stable and performed well in DNA hybridization assays.
  • Surface density of biomolecules in the array can be easily controlled and manipulated.
  • Hydrophobicity and concomitant wetting characteristics of functionalized silicon surfaces can also be controlled, aiding the preparation of reproducible and well-defined biomolecule arrays.
For More Information About the Inventors
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Mark Staudt at or 608-960-9845.
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