We demonstrate that the combined application of Langmuir-Blodgett and self-assembly techniques allows the fabrication of patterns with contrasting surface properties on gold substrates. The process is monitored using fluoroscence microscopy and surface plasmon spectroscopy and microscopy. These structures are suitable for the investigation of biochem. processes at surfaces and in ultrathin films. Two examples of such processes are shown. In the first example, the structures are addressed through the binding of a monoclonal antibody to a peptide. This demonstrates the formation of self-assembled monolayers by cysteine-bearing peptides on gold, and the directed binding of proteins to the structured layers. A high contrast between specific and unspecific binding of proteins is obsd. by the patterned presentation of antigens. Such films possess considerable potential for the design of multichannel sensor devices. In the second example, a structured phospholipid layer is produced by controlled self-assembly from vesicle soln. The structures created, areas of phospholipid bilayer surrounded by a matrix of phospholipid monolayer, allow formation of a supported bilayer which is robust and strongly bound to the gold support, with small areas of free-standing bilayer which very closely resemble a phospholipid cell membrane. [on SciFinder (R)]