Imbibition of Femtoliter-Scale DNA-Rich Aqueous Droplets into Porous Nylon Substrates by Molecular Printing

Patrizia Cancemi, Salvatore Feo, Claudia Pellerito, Bruno Giuseppe Pignataro, Giuseppe Domenico Arrabito, Hede, Desideri, Ottaviani, Ho, Vittorio Ferrara, Knudsen, Alessandro Desideri, Alessandro Ottaviani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This work presents the first reported imbibition mechanism of femtoliter (fL)-scale droplets produced by microchannel cantilever spotting (mu CS) of DNA molecular inks into porous substrates (hydrophilic nylon). Differently from macroscopic or picoliter droplets, the downscaling to the fL-size leads to an imbibition process controlled by the subtle interplay of evaporation, spreading, viscosity, and capillarity, with gravitational forces being quasi-negligible. In particular, the minimization of droplet evaporation, surface tension, and viscosity allows for a reproducible droplet imbibition process. The dwell time on the nylon surface permits further tuning of the droplet lateral size, in accord with liquid ink diffusion mechanisms. The functionality of the printed DNA molecules is demonstrated at different imbibed oligonucleotide concentrations by hybridization with a fluorolabeled complementary sequence, resulting in a homogeneous coverage of DNA within the imbibed droplet. This study represents a first step toward the mu CS-enabled fabrication of DNA-based biosensors and microarrays into porous substrates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17156-17165
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry

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