User-defined and localized cellular alignment using femtosecond laser hydrogel densification

Zheng Xiong, Pranav Soman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemConference contribution


Organized cellular alignment is critical for variety of biological phenomenon as well as necessary for several tissue engineering applications. Although a variety of methods have been used to control cellular alignment in 2D, recapitulating the organized 3D cellular alignment found within native tissues remains a challenge. In this study, we present a new method to align cells in localized user-defined orientations using femtosecond (fs) laser enabled hydrogel densification. Fs laser direct writing was used to induce densification within partially crosslinked gelatin methacrylate (GelMA) hydrogel. Densified line patterns were used to preferential align variety of cells such as mouse 10T1/2s fibroblasts and IDG-SW3 osteocytes, and human HUVECs and hiPSC-derived MSCs. Cellular alignment as a function of cell-culture time, line spacing, and modification-depth were characterized. As compared to the current technology, this method can be applied to any photocrosslinkable hydrogel, as it does not require specialized chemical or physical modifications or any external guidance cues. Additionally, densification can be introduced during active cell culture providing temporal flexibility in experimental design. This method can be potentially used for the creation of organized engineered tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFrontiers in Ultrafast Optics
Subtitle of host publicationBiomedical, Scientific, and Industrial Applications XX
EditorsPeter R. Herman, Michel Meunier, Roberto Osellame
ISBN (Electronic)9781510633032
StatePublished - 2020
EventFrontiers in Ultrafast Optics: Biomedical, Scientific, and Industrial Applications XX 2020 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Feb 1 2020Feb 4 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceFrontiers in Ultrafast Optics: Biomedical, Scientific, and Industrial Applications XX 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • Cellular alignment
  • Cellular encapsulation
  • Densification
  • Femtosecond laser
  • Gelatin methacrylate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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