A thermoresponsive, microtextured substrate for cell sheet engineering with defined structural organization
The proper function of many tissues depends critically on the structural organization of the cells and matrix of which they are comprised. Therefore, in order to engineer functional tissue equivalents that closely mimic the unique properties of native tissues it is necessary to develop strategies for reproducing the complex, highly organized structure of these tissues. To this end, we sought to develop a simple method for generating cell sheets that have defined ECM/cell organization using microtextured, thermoresponsive polystyrene substrates to guide cell organization and tissue growth. The patterns consisted of large arrays of alternating grooves and ridges (50 μm wide, 5 μm deep). Vascular smooth muscle cells cultured on these substrates produced intact sheets consisting of cells that exhibited strong alignment in the direction of the micropattern. These sheets could be readily transferred from patterned substrates to non-patterned substrates without the loss of tissue organization. Ultimately, such sheets will be layered to form larger tissues with defined ECM/cell organization that spans multiple length scales.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 29, Issue 17, June 2008, Pages 2565–2572