A simple method for controlling the spatial positioning of mammalian cells and bacteria on substrates using patterned poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) hydrogel microstructures is described. These microstructures were fabricated using photolithography on silicon, glass or poly (dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) surfaces modified with a 3-(trichlorosilyl) propyl methacrylate (TPM) monolayer. During the photogelation reaction, the resulting hydrogel microstructures were covalently bound to the substrate via the TPM monolayer and did not detached from the substrate upon hydration. For mammalian cell patterning, microwell arrays of different dimensions were fabricated. These microwells were composed of hydrophilic PEG hydrogel walls surrounding hydrophobic TPM floors inside the microwells. Murine 3T3 fibroblasts and transformed hepatocytes were shown to selectively adhere to the TPM monolayer inside the microwells, maintaining their viability, while adherent cells were not present on the hydrogel walls. The number of cells inside one microwell could be controled by changing the lateral dimension of the microwells, thus allowing only a single cell per microwell if desired. In the case of 30 x 30 μm microwells, as many as 400 microwells were fabricated in 1 mm2. In addition, PEG hydrogel microstructures were also shown to effectively resist the adhesion of bacteria such as Escherichia coli.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NAG 9 1277) and the Texas Advanced Technology Program. We also thank Prof. Richard Crooks (Department of Chemistry, Texas A&M University) for the use of the contact angle instrument. MVP wishes to thank the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for its support through a research fellowship.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering
- Molecular Biology