Fabrication, integration and study of micropillars for cell culture

Abstract : This work aimed to provide new substrates for cell culture studies. We first developed a method to fabricate micropillars in both elastomer and thermoplastic polymer. In particular, we produced adjacent micropillar arrays with different heights to evaluate the surface stiffness dependent migration of cells. Our results showed that cells were sensitive to the height of the pillars when the effective stiffness of the substrate is compatible to that of the cell and that the cells were preferentially localized on the stiffer surface area. We also developed a method to fabricate nanofibers on the elastomer pillars to create in-vivo like extracellular matrix. Our results showed that primary hippocampal neurons on such a substrate were more active than on flat substrates. Furthermore, we analyzed the confinement and deformation of cell nuclei in the inter-pillar areas for both cancer and stem cell studies. Finally, we integrated the micro-pillar arrays into a microfluidic device and showed that the cell migration under concentration gradient was influenced by the substrate stiffness. Altogether, the fabricated pillar arrays can be used to regulate the stiffness of the substrate for cell culture studies.
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Jin Wei. Fabrication, integration and study of micropillars for cell culture. Analytical chemistry. PSL Research University, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017PSLEE042⟩. ⟨tel-01813403⟩

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