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A new plasma-based micropatterning technique, here referred to as plasma printing, combines the well known advantages given by the nonequilibrium character of a dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) and its operation inside small gas volumes with dimension between tens and hundreds of micrometres. The discharge is run at atmospheric pressure and can be easily implemented for patterned surface treatment with applications in biotechnology and microtechnology. In this work the local modification of dielectric substrates, e.g. polymeric films, is addressed with respect to coating and chemical functionalisation, immobilisation of biomolecules and area-selective electroless plating.