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Issue 18, 2013
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In vitro wrinkle formation via shape memory dynamically aligns adherent cells

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Abstract

Surface wrinkling of materials offers a simple yet elegant approach to fabricating cell culture substrates with highly ordered topographies for investigating cell mechanobiology. In this study we present a tunable shape memory polymer (SMP) bilayer system that is programmed to form, under cell compatible conditions, wrinkles with feature sizes on the micron and sub-micron length scale. We found that with increasing deformation fixed into the SMP substrate, wrinkled topographies with increasing amplitudes, decreasing wavelengths, and increasing degree of wrinkle orientation were achieved. Analysis of the cellular response to previously wrinkled (static) substrates revealed that cell nuclear alignment increased as SMP deformation increased. Analysis of the cellular response to an actively wrinkling substrate demonstrated that cell alignment can be controlled by triggering wrinkle formation. These findings demonstrate that the amount of deformation fixed (and later recovered) in an SMP bilayer system can be used to control the resulting wrinkle characteristics and cell mechanobiological response. The tailored and dynamic substrate functionality provided by this approach is expected to enable new investigation and understanding of cell mechanobiology.

Graphical abstract: In vitro wrinkle formation via shape memory dynamically aligns adherent cells

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Publication details

The article was received on 03 Jan 2013, accepted on 06 Mar 2013 and first published on 28 Mar 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM00024A
Citation: Soft Matter, 2013,9, 4705-4714
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    In vitro wrinkle formation via shape memory dynamically aligns adherent cells

    P. Yang, R. M. Baker, J. H. Henderson and P. T. Mather, Soft Matter, 2013, 9, 4705
    DOI: 10.1039/C3SM00024A

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