Explore yours with our Molecular Printer.
n.able is a young and innovative high-tech start-up born at the Institute of Nanotechnology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany. Thanks to more than 10 years of experience in functionalization of surfaces at nano- and micro-scales, we have developed a new class of instrument: Molecular Printer.
Our printer is a perfect tool for fast and flexible surface and device functionalization. Compatible with variety of printing tools, it can deposit a great variety of molecular inks on various surface chemistries. With strong focus on our customers, we have designed our printer to be fully modular, easy to customize and expand. With a flexible choice of functional modules – spanning from humidity control, localized thermal treatment to UV exposure, our customers can flexibly adjust the printer to suit their unique projects.
Thanks to our innovative product portfolio, which includes a broad range of consumables and consulting services, we open up new perspectives for basic research as well as industry.
We n.able new processes and solutions for cell-based research, biochemistry, material science as well as clinical diagnostics and personalized medicine.
We call it revolutionizing research.
Our innovative product portfolio includes our Molecular Printer, a broad range of consumables and consulting services. Here you can find out more.
Molecular Desktop Printer
Our printer is a perfect tool for fast and flexible surface and device functionalization. Compatible with variety of printing tools, it can deposit a great variety of molecular inks on various surface chemistries.
1. Optical module
Allows you to control your printing process in-situ with an in-built zoom microscope. This module can be expanded by adding fluorescence and polarization imaging.
2. Printing module
Can accomodate a variety of commercially available tools ranging from AFM-based probes to soft polymeric stamps. This gives you freedom and flexibility to chose the probes best suited for your project. To increase the control over the printing process down to the nanoscale this module can be also upgraded with components allowing higher resolution and automated tilting.
Depending on the ink – substrate chemistry you can print patterns that can be:
– 5nm diameter dots (Thiols on Gold),
– 200 nm widht lines (phospholipids on glass, Lipid microarrays- Application note_n.able GmbH_2020),
– 1 µm diameter dots (Azides on DBCO coated substrate),
– 5 – 30 µm diameter dots (proteins & antibodies on GPTMS coated substrates (Application note – Micropatterning for cell-based assays_n.able_2020) or click-chemistry of proteins on graphene (Application note – Functionalization of Graphene_n.able_2020)).
The choice if the probe to print/ spot the inks with, will depend strongly on the type of the ink used and the pattern resolution you want to achieve.
3. Substrate platform
Can easily accomodate a high number of substrates thanks to its large size. This will help you printing on large size samples as well as improve mass fabrication of smaller substrates. This platform can be upgraded by a rotation or temperature control module.
Humidity module will enable you to control and optimize ink flow from the probe to the surface of your samples. The humidity can be set between 10 and 90 % (Relative Humidity).
Temperature module will complement your printing or post-printing process with a localized heat treatment of the substrate platform surface. The temperature can be regulated up to 80° C.
Rotation module is adding another degree of freedom to your printing process. This is particularly helpful for aligning the probe with pre-patterned surfaces. This module will rotate your substrates by 360° so that you can precisely address your area of choice.
High-resolution module will increase the control over the printing process down to the low nanoscale. Additionally, it can tilt the printing probe and print on areas that are not on a flat surface allowing you to acces difficult areas on pre-structures surfaces.
Fluorescence/polarization imaging module expands the standard imaging module of the Molecular Printer by an automated filter changer, a scientific CMOS camera and a set of user-definable fluorescence imaging filters. This will help you to further control and refine your printing process , quickly check the printed pattern, as well as image the experiments performed in-situ.
Toolbox – wide choice of inks and substrates
We have tested the printing process using a broad variety of inks and substrates. The list below is a comprehensive overview that you can use as reference when planning your experiments:
- Metallic inks
- Quantum dots
- Ink solvents
- Chloroform ± Ethanol
- Glass and Si / SiO2, pristine or functionalized with: TiO2, Silanes, Azides, Thiols, Acrylates, Metals
- Graphene and GO
- Polymers: PDMS, HEMA-EDMA, PS, PMMA
- Superhydrophilic, Superhydrophobic, Superoleophobic
- Polymer brushes
UV/Ozone ProCleaner provided to you via our partnership with
BioForce Nanosciences Inc.
This simple-to-use, inexpensive and easy to set-up system allows for a dry process to produce near-atomically clean surfaces, in air and at ambient temperature. You can treat objects up to 4” x 5” (100 mm x 125 mm).
How does it work? A high intensity mercury vapor lamp generates 254nm light which cleaves the bonds of organic molecules on the surface. Strong emission at 185nm converts atmospheric oxygen into reactive ozone, which attacks the small molecular fragments and creates volatile organics.
Operation is as simple as placing your samples, probes or small tools in the chamber, closing the drawer, and setting the timer. This system has a safety interlock switch to protect users from UV and ozone exposure during the cleaning process.
After the process you can be sure that your probes are clean and hydrophilic- which is important for the ink loading step in your printing protocol. It also allows you to save the budget and re-clean the probes if you want to re-use them.
- Cleaning molecular contamination from SPTs, AFM tips and surfaces
- Curing UV-adhesives
- UV photo-patterning of SAM surfaces
- Oxidizing PDMS
- Surface sterilization
- Etch, pattern, sharpen
- Clean MEMS devices
- Sanitize surfaces and samples
Surfaces and Substrates Commonly Used
- Silicon nitride
- MEMS surfaces
To order the Ozone Cleaner or find out more about this product, please email us at:
Flexible choice of consumables
Our Molecular Printer can accommodate a variety of tools for printing, from AFM-based probes to soft polymeric stamps. This gives you freedom and flexibility to chose the probes best suited for your project.
We can support you with choosing the best suited printing tool as well as designing and fabricating your custom solution-polymeric stamp or mold.
To discuss details of your desired stamp simply email us:
SEM image of silicon master after the etch process. © S. Dehm, KIT.
SPT probes are a perfect tool for printing fluid inks containing proteins, antibodies, DNA, RNA, viruses as well as non-biological materials like chemical solutions, colloids and particle solutions.
Do you need help with your project?
We are happy to assist you!
Having over 10 years of experience in surface and device functionalization we can support you with:
- conceptual design
- product / process development
- project management
- feasibility studies
- rapid prototyping
- test prints
If you would like to discuss your ideas and projects, simply contact us:
Are you looking for a research partner?
We are open to collaboration in innovation projects.
If you think our company would be a valuable partner or supplier in your consortium, let us know.
Let‘s explore new horizons together!
Discover your applications
Our molecular printer offers great possibilities for the fabrication of (bio)functional arrays, molecular sensors and lab-on-a-chip platforms. It is a powerful tool for biological and medical research, as well as material science.
Switchover between soft-lithography-based printing modes allows for a high degree of flexibility during sample fabrication.
Automation of printing of single or multiplexed patterns makes our printer very easy to operate.
Biology and medicine research
Functional biointerfaces – covalent patterning on acrylated surfaces
For controlling the surface properties of materials polymer grafting is proving to be a very powerful technique. In the latest work with Prof. Dr. Guillaume Delaittre Poly(2-alkyl-2-oxazoline)s (PAOx), with anti-bioadhesive properties, show to be promising in the design of functionalized biointerfaces.
Multiplexed cell arrays
A novel approach for integration of more than one ink in an interdigitaed pattern was achived by polymer pen lithography. This new inking and writing strategy was applied to immobilize functional proteins for cell studies.
Ring opening/addition reaction was used to create DNA arrays. Gradient pattern with fluorescently labeled DNA was printed with dot sizes varying from 4µm to 0,3µm in diameter.
Work done together with Dr. Sabine Eisold from research group of Prof. Ulrich Simon, RWTH Aachen University, Germany
Controlling cell adhesion on lab-on-chip biodevices
Functionalization of biointerfaces has a great impact in research areas ranging from diagnostics to antimicrobial surfaces. In our work with Prof. Andres Diaz Lantada we have functionalized microstructures with Fibronectin protein for Controlling Cells adhesion. You can find the full paper here.
Multicomponent single cell arrays
Click-chemistry approach was used to create multi-component arrays. Pattern size of 10 – 20 µm was demonstrated to be very efficient in capturing cells into single cell in arrays.
Multiplexed phospholipid arrays for protein binding
High resolution phospholipid patters are used for binding of proteins and cell-surface interaction studies.
Hybridization on multiplexed oligonucleotide arrays
Immobilization of oligonucleotides into arrays was done using polmer pen lithography. Those binding tags were used to monitor cell-protein interaction.
Photonics and material research
Coiled lambda-shaped carbon nanofibers
Continuation of the project on nanofibers resulted in a unique growth of coiled lambda-shaped carbon nanofibers (cλCNFs). As before, the growth can be controlled by localized deposition of nickel salt via an atomic force microscopy cantilever. Such fabrication process for cλCNFs offers a promising method for targeted synthesis of a novel carbon structures for applications in catalysts and nanoelectronics.
Optical microcavities for biosensing
Microcontact stamping was utilized to coat the circumferences of goblet-shaped optical microcavities in a parallel but still highly localized manner. By using multicomponent
phospholipid inks, biorecognition elements as well as lasing components can be implemented, to realize multifunctional microlaser arrays for biosensing applications.
Highly controlled growth of carbon nanofibers
Cantilever-based printing was utilized to highly control the growth of carbon nanofibers (CNFs). The unique lateral resolution of this technique allowed for precise dosing
of a NiCl-based growth catalyst – resulting in “two-legged” fibers, so-called lambda-CNFs, in defined densities, down to single fibers.
Our core team
Dr. Sylwia Sekula-Neuner
Managing co-director, CMO
Dr. Uwe Bog
Managing co-director, CTO
News and events
Find out more about our company and activities:
07.2020 – New Molecular Printer installation at the University of Manchester
We are proud to announce our first sale to UK. Our custom built Molecular Printer will strengthen the research done in the group of Prof. Cinzia Casiraghi. To learn more on Cinzia and her outstanding research on 2-Dimensional (2D) materials, simply visit her website.
01.06.2020 – Cooperation with BioForce Nanosciences, Inc.
We are proud to announce that we have entered into an exciting joint venture with BioForce Nanosciences, Inc. This collaboration will give existing and new customers in Europe and the US unique access to:
- molecular printing and micro-deposition instruments
- complementary consumables
- technical support
- project consulting
For more information just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
29.05.2020 – We are celebrating our first birthday!
Thank you everyone who has supported us on our way from the initial idea, through Helmholtz Association funding to the launch of our brand.
Let‘s celebrate and continue the story together!
10 – 11.03.2020 KNMF User Meeting at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
20.12.2019 Season‘s Greetings
We would like to wish our clients, partners and community members a lovely Holiday Time!
Thank you for this incredible year and all the best for 2020!
10.2019 – New Molecular Printer installation at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
We are proud to announce that our Molecular Printer is installed at the Institute of Nanotechnologyas part of technologies offered by KNMF.To learn more about this system and its capabilities please go to KNMF website.
If you would like to schedule system demonstration at INT, please contact PD Dr. Dr. Michael Hirtz Michael.Hirtz@kit.edu.
04-05.11.2019 – Workshop on Applications of Molecular Printing in Nanotechnology
If you would like to learn more on molecular printing and various applications of out system installed at the Münster Nanofabricaton Facility (MNF), please just sent an email to Dr. Sylwia Sekula-Neuner, email@example.com.
More details on the workshop and venue you can find here: Workshop at SoN
See you in Münster!
28.05.2019 – Founding of n.able
The myPrint spin-off project becomes n.able and is now formally incorporated.
11.04.2019 – Start-up of the week
We are featured as start-up of the week at StartersCapital.
07.12.2018 – CAREER DAY Entrepreneurship & (Bio)Tech
Are you looking for the next step in your career? Meet n.able at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ).
27.06.2018 – Neuland Innovation day
We we presenting our start up at the Neuland Innovation days at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. We were pitching our business idea in front of the investors and presented our product to visitors from various industries. We could also meet other start-up founders and learn about their innovative ideas.
13.06.2018 – upCAT Accelerator Program
We took part in the accelerator program upCAT (Startup Catalyst). Together with upCAT team we worked on our business model, value proposition and market entry. During the final presentation at the DemoDay Dr.-Ing. Uwe Bog gave a pitch on our company idea.
We also had a chance to network, meet other start-up founders, mentors and investors.
21.03.2018 – Hannover Fair Trade
We had a unique opportunity to present our stat-up at the Hannover Fair Trade (Hannover Messe) in front of hundreds of visitors. We had a chance to network with potential investors and meet other start-up founders from various disciplines.
Our stand was also visited by Prof. Thomas Hirth (on the left), Vice-President for Innovation and International Affairs at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.
17.01.2018 – Helmholtz Enterprise
myPrint gets funded by the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers within their Helmholtz Enterprise program.
Enable your visions now
If you would like to have more information on our innovative Molecular Desktop Printer or our services, please contact us: