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whereRU: Aresty Poster 89 - Emulating cellular microenvironments in vitro using microfabrication by Aresty Posters 2009

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Taken by
Aresty Posters 2009 Aresty Posters 2009
Explore score
0.06 Gigapixels
Date added
May 20, 2009
Date taken
May 19, 2009

Emulating cellular microenvironments in vitro using microfabrication techniques to study brain cancer cell behavior

The cellular microenvironment, which is comprised of soluble/insoluble molecules, cell-cell interactions and topographical features, plays an essential role in directing cell behavior (e.g. adhesion, growth, migration). However, the function of the microenvironment is difficult to investigate because the study requires an extensive knowledge of multiple signals that control cell behavior. Therefore, there is an urgent demand for innovative methods to assay multiple microenvironmental signals for controlling cell activity. To this end, a cellular microenvironment was produced in vitro on thin films of gold, where extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins (including fibronectin and laminin) and nanomaterials (including quantum dots and carbon nanotubes) were patterned on microscale designs of squares and stripes of varying dimensions. The micropatterns were formed by using microfabrication techniques including microcontact printing, micronscale plasma initiated patterning, and UV-mediated photooxidation. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) showed the height profile and the distribution of the ECM proteins and nanomaterials on the various patterned surfaces. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and optical microscopy provided visual evidence of the proteins and nanomaterials adsorbed to the underlying micropatterns. Using these patterned substrates, which mimic the cellular microenvironment, we can regulate cell functions in a highly selective manner. More specifically, future work will entail optimizing the uptake of patterned nanomaterials by brain cancer cells in order to deliver gene silencing molecules for knock-down of desired genes.

Name: Shreyas Shah
Email: spshah99@hotmail.com
Advisor: Dr. Ki-Bum Lee, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Rutgers University

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