Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) is a textbook example of a virus, and also of a self-assembling nanoscale structure. This tubular RNA/protein architecture has found applications as a biotemplate for the synthesis of nanomaterials such as wires, tubes and nanoparticle assemblies.

In their latest study, the scientists have presented adjusted eBL-compatible processes that allow the incorporation of TMV in nanostructures made of positive and negative tone eBL resists. The key steps involve covering TMV with polymer resists, avoiding temperatures above 50 °C, and development (selective dissolution) in carefully selected organic solvents.

To demonstrate the post-lithography biochemical functionality of TMV, the scientists performed selective immunocoating of the viral particles with primary and with secondary gold-labelled antibodies, and used immobilized TMV as a direct immunosensor.

Full details can be found in the journal Nanotechnology.