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A Cell Culture Substrate with Biologically Relevant Size-Scale Topography and Compliance of the Basement Membrane

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journal contribution
posted on 17.12.2015, 00:51 by Shaun P. Garland, Clayton T. McKee, Yow-Ren Chang, Vijay Krishna Raghunathan, Paul Russell, Christopher J. Murphy
A growing body of literature broadly documents that a wide array of fundamental cell behaviors are modulated by the physical attributes of the cellular microenvironment, yet in vitro assays are typically carried out using tissue culture plastic or glass substrates that lack the 3-dimensional topography present in vivo and have stiffness values that far exceed that of cellular and stromal microenvironments. This work presents a method for the fabrication of thin hydrogel films that can replicate arbitrary topographies with a resolution of 400 nm that possess an elastic modulus of approximately 250 kPa. Material characterization including swelling behavior and mechanics were performed and reported. Cells cultured on these surfaces patterned with anisotropic ridges and grooves react to the biophysical cues present and show an alignment response.