Due to the extreme complexity of in vivo environments, our understanding of cellular functions and cell-cell interactions is heavily dependent on cell culture. To understand the biological mechanisms at the cellular level in cell culture, cell-patterning methods have been developed to mimic in vivo patterns of cellular organization. Unlike traditional cell patterning techniques, which are not designed to pattern small numbers of cells with the accuracy desired for systematic cell-cell interaction studies, laser guidance-based cell micropatterning uses optical force to capture a cell and guide it to a specific location on a variety of substrates. In this chapter, we will discuss theories on optical force, demonstrate numerical simulations, and describe the design and implementation of an actual micropatterning system. Three cell patterns will be presented: a single-cell array with high spatial resolution (less than 1∈μm), alignment of rod-shape adult cardiomyocytes, and neuronal networks with defined connectivity and single-cell resolution on a microelectrode array.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)